Published On: Fri, Oct 12th, 2012

Cherokee crafts, traditions to be featured at Sylva presentation

SYLVA –  The Jackson County Public Library in Sylva will host a program entitled “From the Hands of our Elders: Cherokee Traditions” on Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 7p.m. with Cherokee basket artist Betty Maney and WCU crafts scholar Anna Fariello.

The evening’s program will feature award-winning artist Betty Maney, who will demonstrate her family’s tradition of white oak basket making and also discuss her own exploration of new media. Maney carries on her family’s multi-generational tradition of white oak basketry while also making pottery and beadwork.  She has demonstrated basketry and beadwork throughout the country and in Sydney, Australia, as well. She has taught advanced art classes at Swain High School and conducted hands-on workshops at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.

M. Anna Fariello will discuss new digital resources for Cherokee crafts.  Fariello received the 2010 Brown Hudson Award from the North Carolina Folklore Society and serves on the board of the World Craft Council. She is a prolific author and curator of over 40 exhibitions, and her books include “Cherokee Basketry: From the Hands of our Elders” and “Cherokee Pottery: From the Hands of our Elders”

This program will expand upon the themes of the WCU public history student exhibit, “Weaving a Way: A Story of Cultural Preservation,” which is on display at the Jackson County Public Library, just inside the doors leading from the Atrium into the Library . Students who researched and created the exhibit will be on hand to show visitors their work as well as additional information available on the website DigitalHeritage.org.

The exhibit “Cherokee Traditions” is part of the larger “Journey Stories” project, which includes a Smithsonian exhibit on view at the Mountain Heritage now through Nov. 9, as well local journey stories displays at the Jackson County Public Library, and a series of free programs and events in both locations.  For more information on the full schedule of programs, contact the Mountain Heritage Center, 828-227-7129, www.wcu.edu/2389.asp

This event is being held in conjunction with “Journey Stories,” which is part of Museum on Main Street and a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and the North Carolina Humanities Council. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.

“From the Hands of our Elders: Cherokee Traditions” is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Jackson County Public Library and the Mountain Heritage Center, Western Carolina University.

Info: Jackson County Public Library 586-2016 or Mountain Heritage Center at 227-7129,

– Jackson County Public Library

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