Cherokee Traditions: From the Hands of our Elders
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Arts And Crafts: Serpent 2

Serpent 2 pattern
Serpent 2 pattern

Mats such as these were traditionally used for covering walls and floors, providing decoration or insulation. During outdoor ceremonies, mats were used to cover the ground or benches to serve as rugs or seating. In some native communities, mats were used to wrap the dead. While this woven mat is traditional, its design is an adaptation. What remains from tradition is the form, material, the single weave technique, and the mat's coloration. The Serpent design is a 20th century adaptation, but is a popular motif among Eastern Band Cherokee today. Walnut hulls were used to dye the rivercane and to achieve the dark brown color. In this particular Serpent (or Snake) design, the "serpents" run diagonally cross the mat. This design is traditional among the Chitamacha of Louisiana and may be an adaptation.


Cherokee Traditions:
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