The People:
Emma Taylor

Emma Squirrel Taylor (1920-2002) was a master Cherokee basket weaver whose specialty was white oak baskets. After learning how to make baskets in 1927, she produced them for more than half a century. In 1952 she joined Qualla Arts and Craft Mutual, a Cherokee artisan cooperative. In the 1970s and 1980s, she exhibited her work at Qualla Arts and Craft Mutual and at the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway. In 1989, the North Carolina Arts Council presented her with a North Carolina Folk Heritage Award. Emma Taylor’s work earned her recognition well beyond western North Carolina’s Qualla Boundary. An article about her work appeared in the New York Times and she traveled to Japan to demonstrate Cherokee basket weaving to the World Craft Council.

Read more about Emma Taylor on the Cherokee Traditions website.