The People:
Elsie Watty

Elsie Welch Watty (b. 1935) is a master Cherokee basket weaver who specialized in making white oak baskets and was known for creating her own designs. She was born in 1935 and lived and worked on the Galamore Branch in the Big Cove community near Cherokee. Although her mother and grandmother each wove baskets, neither of them taught her the craft. Instead, she learned by observation and began to make baskets when she was ten years old. In 1977 her work was exhibited at the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual artisan cooperative. While she was an active basket weaver, she is said to have made 100 baskets a year.

Read more about Elsie Watty on the Cherokee Traditions website.