Published On: Mon, Mar 31st, 2014

Cherokee Weaving Talk and Workshop to be held at Museum

The Museum of the Cherokee Indian is beginning its revitalization project on Cherokee weaving Friday, April 11 and Saturday, April 12 with a talk and workshop.  Both are sponsored by the North Carolina Arts Council and the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.

“The traditions of Cherokee spinning and weaving with plant fibers go back more than 11,000 years,” said Barbara R. Duncan, Ph.D., education director at the Museum.

The Clifty Creek Skirt, in the collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, is a Cherokee women’s skirt found in a cave in east Tennessee, originally woven from nettle fibers.  (Photo courtesy of Smithsonian)

The Clifty Creek Skirt, in the collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, is a Cherokee women’s skirt found in a cave in east Tennessee, originally woven from nettle fibers. (Photo courtesy of Smithsonian)

The public is invited to a talk and presentation on “Cherokee Weaving” on Friday, April 11 at 7 pm in the Ken Blankenship Education and Research Center at the Museum.

Karen George, Davy Arch, Deborah Harding, and Barbara Duncan will talk about and show examples of Cherokee weaving. Davy Arch has been gathering dogbane and other plants traditionally used in weaving, and Karen has been experimenting with spinning and weaving with these plants.

Also on Friday evening, Kara Martin will model a Cherokee skirt and feather cape that she will be wearing in the Miss Indian World competition at the end of April. The skirt is woven from hemp and is a recreation of a Cherokee women’s skirt found in a cave in east Tennessee, originally woven from nettle fibers.  This skirt has been reproduced by Deborah Harding, collections manager at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh.

On Saturday, April 12 from 10am – 4pm, Harding will lead a workshop on weaving techniques used to recreate the skirt.  Using hemp fibers, participants will make a bag like the one originally found with the Clifty Creek skirt.  The cost is $25 for EBCI tribal members.  Class size is limited to 15.  Register at the Box Office of the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.

Info: Barbara Duncan bduncan@cherokeemuseum.org or Box Office 497-3481.

-Barbara Duncan, Museum of the Cherokee Indian 

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