Cherokee Traditions: From the Hands of our Elders
Home About Arts & Crafts Language People Photographs Stories

Browse the collection

Arts And Crafts: Flowing Water 1

Flowing Water pattern
Flowing Water pattern

This double woven maple tray was made by Helen Smith. The pattern, made from bloodroot or yellowroot dyes, is an example of the Flowing Water (or Flowing River) design shown on the interior of the tray as two intersecting diagonals. Trays such as these were used to store or serve foodstuffs. Maker, Helen Smith was born in 1922 in the Big Cove Community on the Qualla Boundary in Cherokee, North Carolina. She first learned to make white oak baskets from her mother in 1937 or 1938, when she was 15 or 16 years old; and later also made baskets using honeysuckle vine and rivercane. A double weave tray made out of maple is rare, departing from the tradition of using rivercane for double weave basketry.


Cherokee Traditions:
A project of Hunter Library Digital Initiatives at Western Carolina University
Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual
Museum of the Cherokee Indian

With support from:
Cherokee Preservation Foundation logo Blue Ridge National Heritage Area logo