Cherokee Traditions: From the Hands of our Elders
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Arts And Crafts: Man in a Coffin 1

Man in a Coffin 1 pattern
Man in a Coffin 1 pattern

This double weave lidded basket was made from rivercane, a material used in traditional Cherokee basket weaving. While the maker is unknown, the basket style, technique, and material suggest that its maker was Cherokee. The double weave method is a complex weaving technique used by skilled Cherokee weavers. The weaving begins with the inside of the basket; the inner walls are woven upward, then the basket splints are bent back, and woven back down the sides. The weave is finished on the outside bottom of the basket. Baskets made using the double weave technique can be waterproofed with animal fats or beeswax to carry water. This particular basket weave design is a version of Man in a Coffin (or Man in a Casket), with the "coffins" laid end-to-end along a horizontal plane around the basket. The pattern is punctuated by diagonal bands of brown and orange. Walnut hulls are used to make brown dye; orange is from bloodroot.


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:
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