Artist Directory

Welcome to the Cherokee Artist Directory

Here you will find descriptions of artists who are enrolled members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, a community approximately fifteen thousand strong in the mountains of western North Carolina. For the most part, these artists have learned from their families and community, using materials native to the southern Appalachians and calling on traditions passed down for many generations. They are among the best practitioners of traditional Cherokee culture. With the exception of a few elders who stay close to home, the artists and consultants listed here are willing to travel and present programs about some aspect of Cherokee culture.

These artists are available and willing to travel to your event.  They have been included in this directory because their work represents authentic traditions; because they are good at working with the public; and because they have experience presenting their work in many different settings. They should be paid for their time and their expenses for travel, lodging, and food.

Many travelers to Cherokee, North Carolina, have discovered four institutions there that have long supported local artists and presented Cherokee culture to the public. These institutions continue to flourish today. The oldest, the Cherokee Indian Fair, held its hundredth annual fair in October, 2012. The Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, a Cherokee-owned-and-operated arts and crafts co-operative founded in 1946, is open year round and is one of the most successful organizations of its kind in the United States. The Museum of the Cherokee Indian, founded in 1948, opened an exciting new exhibit in 1998 and continues to expand its education and outreach programs. The Cherokee Historical Association runs the Oconoluftee Indian Village and has produced the outdoor drama Unto These Hills for more than fifty years.

The Cherokee Artist Directory supplements the activities of these institutions and other cultural programs in the community by making authentic Cherokee artists accessible to audiences outside Cherokee. Through these artists, new audiences can experience firsthand the traditions and arts and crafts practiced by Cherokee people today on their ancestral homeland in the southern Appalachians.

Cherokee Artists

neg01_pic1The Ani-Kuwih, or Mulberry, Dancers perform traditional Cherokee dances, demonstrate blowguns, and can give Cherokee language lessons. A group of about ten children, ages 5 – 12, these dancers can perform for large or small audiences or any age. For the past three years, these children have learned dances, language, and more under the guidance of Myrtle Driver, Tribal Cultural Traditionalist in the Office of Cultural Resources. “They are learning by living,” Driver says. In order to stay in the group, children must keep up their grades, have good behavior in school, and perform community service such as mowing yards or stacking wood for elders. They participate in traditional ceremonies and discuss healthy alternatives to drug and alcohol abuse. “Instead of turning to alcohol and drugs, we say, ‘Let’s go dance at the Tsali Manor [a community center for the elderly in Cherokee].'”

neg01_pic2Myrtle Driver was born and raised on the Qualla Boundary, a member of the Deer Clan. She attended local schools until eighth grade, and then was sent to boarding schools at Alexander Mills, Crossnore, and finally the Haskell Institute. She learned to dance from her mother and grandmother, who used to dance with the Big Cove Traditional Dancers under the direction of Amaneet Sequoyah. As a young woman she participated in the First Americans, Inc., a dance group that opened Bicentennial ceremonies in 1976 all over the east coast, from Philadelphia to Florida. Driver went back to school at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, studying anthropology and museum science. She was the recipient of an Honorary Fellowship to the Newberry Library and did an internship in Natural History with the Smithsonian Institution.

The Ani-Kuwih Dancers have performed for festivals, school groups, colleges, and universities including Rhinehart College and University of North Carolina at Greensboro. They will perform for groups of any size, and are available to travel on weekends. Contact Myrtle Driver to discuss performance schedules, performance fees and travel.


Tribal Cultural Traditionalist
PO Box 119
Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 488-5732 (work)
(828) 497-9581 (home)

neg02_picDavy Arch tells Cherokee stories, presents lectures on Cherokee history and culture, and demonstrates carving, flint knapping, and mask making. He adapts his programs for audiences of all ages. Using artwork from different mediums, he describes both Cherokee history and contemporary Cherokee life.

For the first ten years of his life, Davy Arch and his family lived with his grandfather, who taught him to tell Cherokee stories, practice herbal medicine, and use wild plants for food. They lived on Stilwell Branch in the Painttown community or the Qualla Boundary. His education in Cherokee culture continued after he graduated from Sylva High School in 1975, when he went to work at the Oconaluftee Living History Village. There he learned to carve masks from the elder mask maker Sim Jessan. From other elders he learned the meaning of masks and went on to study older masks made in the past. Today he carves masks of buckeye wood, cherry, pine, and walnut.

Davy Arch’s carved masks have been on display at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and his stories have been published in the award-winning book Living Stories of the Cherokee. As a participant for six years in the North Carolina Arts Council’s Visiting Artist Program, he has presented programs on Cherokee culture in schools throughout North Carolina. Additionally, he has spoken at the North Carolina Museum of History, the North Carolina Museum of Art, and on National Public Radio. Davy Arch frequently works with public school teachers through the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) in Cullowhee. A member of the Board of Directors of Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, he has also demonstrated at numerous festivals, including the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville. His earliest recognition was a Grand Prize for carving at the Cherokee Indian Fair in 1979.  He has worked as Education Director at Qualla Arts and Crafts Co-op, and has managed the Ocoonaluftee Indian Village.  He was a consultant for the Cherokee homestead project at the Clay County Arts and Historical Society

The traditional stories that Arch tells are included in the award-winning book, Living Stories of the Cherokee. He is a founding member of the Cherokee Potters Guild, which brought back the old-style stamped pottery.  The Museum of the Cherokee Indian has certified him as a guide on the Cherokee Heritage Trails. Arch received the Mountain Heritage Award in 2014 for his work in keeping Cherokee traditions alive and sharing them with the community.

Davy Arch can present programs anywhere within one day’s drive of Cherokee. His fee is negotiable, but must include compensation for travel. His work is sold mainly at the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual in Cherokee.


PO Box 791
Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 497-7571, call between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.

neg03_picLloyd Arneach tells stories to audiences of all ages. His personal style enlivens stories from Cherokee traditions, from his personal experiences, and based on contemporary and historical events. “I’m fortunate to have a wealth of stories to share,” he says, “and I’ll tell stories to anyone who will sit down and listen.”

Born and raised on the Qualla Boundary, Lloyd Arneach attended Guilford College and served in the United States military, including a year in Vietnam. He moved to Atlanta in 1967 and began sharing Cherokee history and culture through storytelling. His uncles, David and George Owl, were his earliest storytelling influences. After absorbing the traditional Cherokee stories and storytelling style, Lloyd added stories from other sources – his own experiences, other elders, and scholars. He tells stories about Wounded Knee, the Trail of Tears, Ishi, and Chief Joseph.

Lloyd Arneach has told stories at the National Storytelling Festival, the President Carter Center, the High Museum in Atlanta, Northwestern University, Mississippi State College, the Atlanta Storytelling Festival, the Cherokee Fall Festival, powwows, and other events. He has been featured in Voices in the Wind (a video documentary by Gary Moss), in National Geographic television specials, and on Georgia Public Television. His stories are included in the book Storytellers: Folktales and Legends from the South by John Burrison (University of Georgia Press, 1990), and his version of The Animals’ Ballgame was published as a children’s book with illustrations by Lydia Halverson (Children’s Press). Lloyd Arneach served as Senior Native American Advisor for the Festival of Fires, an all Native American event included in the Cultural Olympiad of the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. He coordinated the relay run of the flame from Cherokee, North Carolina, to the Gwinnett County Arts Center in Duluth, Georgia, for the Festival of Fires.

Lloyd Arneach’s most recent publication is Long Ago Stories of the Eastern Cherokee, now in its fourth printing.  His CD “Can You Hear the Smoke” is a collection os stories and Native American legends. Both are featured on his website.

His fee is negotiable, but travel expenses should be included. Lloyd Arneach prefers to tell stories with the house lights up so that he can see the faces of his audience. He can accommodate large audiences if sound equipment is provided.


PO Box 861
Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 497-5172


neg04_picPam Blankenship is a genealogical researcher who specializes in the membership of both the Eastern and Western bands of the Cherokee Nation. Using computerized information and resources created by Bob Blankenship, she can trace the ancestry of anyone listed on any of the Cherokee rolls from 1817 to 1924.

Growing up on the Qualla Boundary, in the Yellow Hill and Wolfetown communities, Pam Blankenship attended Cherokee Elementary and High Schools. Since 1991 she has worked with her father, Bob Blankenship, creating computerized genealogies of Cherokee tribal members.

Bob Blankenship is widely known for his research and publications regarding Cherokee genealogy. His first book, Cherokee Roots, listed all the Eastern Cherokee rolls from 1817 to 1924, as well as the Western Cherokee Nation rolls from 1851 to 1909. That first book, now a standard for Cherokee genealogy, has been followed by publications of the Miller Roll, Dawes Roll, and Baker Roll, with detailed information regarding age, roll numbers, and degree of blood. The Blankenships have compiled this information into a computer database, enabling them to do extensive research and cross-referencing.

Pam Blankenship will research a complete genealogy for a standard fee. Archived copies of actual applications used for the rolls are also available from the Blankenships’ microfilm library and can be printed out for a fee. The Blankenship publications are available directly from them through mail order.


Cherokee Roots
PO Box 265
Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 497-7301

neg06_picJean Bushyhead provides Cherokee language resource materials for the classroom and information on the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ tribal language program in the schools. Although she did not grow up speaking the language, Jean has worked extensively with her father, Robert Bushyhead, over the past ten years to document the grammar and pronunciation of the Cherokee language and to create a series of lessons for use in the Cherokee schools.

Born and raised on the Qualla Boundary, Jean Bushyhead attended Kansas State University for undergraduate and graduate work. When she returned to Cherokee, North Carolina, she taught third through sixth grades in the Cherokee Elementary School for more than ten years. Her work with the Cherokee language began one Saturday when she returned home to find her father unloading boxes of language materials into her hallway. “Do something with this,” he said.

Over the past ten years, Jean and Robert Bushyhead have worked daily to document the Kituhwa dialect of the Cherokee language. They have created a series of grammar lessons, textbooks, classroom resources, and a computer voice dictionary of the language. A group of Cherokee elders supports the project by contributing additional information about the language and its use. The Bushyheads’ efforts have been recognized with a North Carolina Folk Heritage Award and the Mountain Heritage Award.

The Cherokee language has its own written form: a syllabary created by Sequoyah, who created the written language without first being literate himself. After Sequoyah’s syllabary was recognized by the Tribal Council in 1821, nearly all members of the Cherokee nation became literate. At present the Cherokee language is in danger of being lost. In the first half of the twentieth century, Cherokee children were severely punished if they spoke the Cherokee language in the federally-operated schools they attended. As a result, these generations did not pass the language on to their children. Since the tribe began operation of its own schools in 1990, however, the Cherokee language has been taught in preschool and grades K-12 through the efforts of the Bushyheads and others and the support of the Eastern Band.

Jean Bushyhead can accept speaking engagements or present workshops for teachers, students, and other groups. She has given presentations at festivals, conferences, and in classrooms. Call to arrange fees and dates.


(828) 488-2041 / 488-8897 (work)


Eddie Bushyhead is a musician who makes and plays the rivercane flute, a traditional instrument among the Cherokee. He entertains large and small audiences of all ages with traditional flute music and contemporary “Rez Music”. Eddie Bushyhead can also speak about the Cherokee language and about language preservation efforts in the Cherokee community.

Eddie Bushyhead was born in Cherokee, and grew up in the Birdtown and Piney Grove communities. After graduating from Cherokee High School, he studied music at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, specializing in ethno-musicology. A versatile musician, Eddie Bushyhead has played music all his life, from Cherokee hymns to rock and roll to blues. In 1987, he began research on the rivercane flute and recreated one based on his studies.

Eddie Bushyhead has performed all over the United States and recently impressed audiences in Beijing, China. He is a showcased artist in the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, and he frequently performs for the Young Audiences organization in Atlanta. A fine composer, he has written music for the PBS Parabola series, for a documentary film for Rhinehart College, and for the Good Moves dance theater in Atlanta. His recordings include Who Says and Rez-Music, as well as the Ani-sahoni (Blue Clan) project, based on tunes he collected from Cherokee elders on the Qualla Boundary. Eddie Bushyhead worked with his father, Cherokee elder Robert Bushyhead, and sister, Jean Bushyhead, on the Cherokee language preservation project. He has taught language classes in the local Kituhwa dialect for the Qualla Boundary school system. At present he works at the Oconaluftee Indian Village.


Bushyhead can teach workshops on making and playing the rivercane flute as well as classes on Cherokee language. He can perform for small and large groups. He works with audiences of ages and is willing to travel anywhere. His fee is negotiable and must include compensation for travel expenses.


Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 488-2041

neg09_picBill Crowe comes from a family of talented, traditional woodcarvers. He carves masks and other traditional pieces, makes flutes and drums, and can talk about Cherokee history. He also plays the traditional flute, and is willing to perform at weddings and other events.

Born on the Qualla Boundary, Bill Crowe was raised by his parents, William H. Crowe and Betty Bradley Crowe. Bill has been carving since childhood, learning from all his relatives including his aunt Amanda Crowe, and his great-uncles G. B. Chiltoskey and Watty Chiltoskey. About five years ago, he began carving flutes.

When he was only seventeen years old, Bill Crowe demonstrated his carving skills at the Smithsonian Institution. Since then he has demonstrated woodcarving at the North Carolina State Fair, the Knoxville World’s Fair, the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, the Cherokee Fall Fair, and numerous powwows. He studied history at Brigham Young University and received a history award his freshman year.

Bill Crowe will demonstrate woodcarving, mask making, flute making, or drum making at festivals or for small groups. He is also available to play flute for events and groups of various sizes. The amount of his fee is negotiable, and he is willing to travel anywhere if his expenses are reimbursed in addition to his fee. He provides his own materials and sound system.


PO Box 631
Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 497-9851, call after 5 p.m.

neg10_picGilbert Crowe has been a skilled woodcarver for nearly half a century, carving a variety of animal and human figures. He has also taught woodcarving in many different settings.

Born and raised on Wright’s Creek in Jackson County, Gilbert Crowe has lived in the area around Cherokee all his life. His father, Albert Crowe, made bows and arrows and tomahawks, and his mother, Regina Crowe, was a potter. Although he carved as a child, it was at Cherokee High School that he took up carving in earnest, inspired by an encouraging teacher. One of his early pieces was a mountain lion made from laurel root. A barber by trade, Gilbert Crowe has cut hair for thirty-six years at his shop in downtown Cherokee. At the same time, he has established a reputation as a fine woodcarver.

Gilbert Crowe joined the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual in the 1950s, and he continues to sell many of his woodcarvings there. He has demonstrated woodcarving in various places, including the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville. Gilbert Crowe has taught woodcarving classes in the Cherokee area and at the Haskell Institute in Lawrence, Kansas.

He will work with students of all ages. “They just need interest,” he says. His fees are negotiable. Gilbert Crowe confines his traveling to the local area around Cherokee, and he prefers to be contacted by mail.


PO Box 521
Cherokee, NC 28719

neg11_picVirgil Crowe demonstrates woodcarving. His work includes dance and ceremonial masks, clan masks, and bird and animal figures. Virgil Crowe can also answer questions about the cultural significance of the masks.

Born in Tennessee, Virgil Crowe moved to the Bigwitch Community on the Qualla Boundary when he was seven years old. After high school, he served in the U.S. Navy for four years. Trained as a survey technician, Virgil Crowe has worked for the federal government for thirty-one years. He now works with the Bureau of Indian Affairs Realty Branch in Cherokee.

While attending high school, Virgil Crowe studied woodcarving with Amanda Crowe. He first carved cars and trucks to play with, and eventually turned to animals, birds, and figurines. He began carving masks in the mid 1980s after researching their use and significance by talking to elder mask makers. The work of renowned Cherokee mask maker Sim Jessan, especially Jessan’s snake mask, inspired him.

Virgil Crowe has demonstrated mask making at the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh, the Kituwah Festival in Asheville, the Singing River Festival in Alabama, and at other festivals. He is a member of the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, which receives constant requests for his work.

Virgil Crowe is available on weekends and holidays for events within a one-day drive of Cherokee. Call to determine his fee, which must include travel expenses.


Wagon Gap Road, Box 37
Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 497-6863, call after 6 p.m.

neg14_picEd and Christina Goings are a young Cherokee couple who demonstrate a variety of Cherokee crafts and talk about Cherokee culture. Ed makes white oak baskets, and Christina finger-weaves the distinctive Cherokee sashes and does beadwork. While Christina demonstrates beadwork, Ed discusses the different styles and stitches she uses.

Ed Goings grew up in Cherokee, learning crafts from both sides of his family. His mother, Louise Goings, and grandmother, Emma Taylor, are both outstanding basket makers. His father, George Goings helped him learn to carve. When Ed was twenty-three, his mother showed him how to make two baskets, and he made a third himself. “Now comes the hard part of it,” she told him, and took him to the woods to learn how to hunt the white oak tree, cut it down, split it into sections, scrape the splints, gather plants for dyes, and dye the splints – all in preparation for making the basket. While working as a tour guide at the Oconoluftee Indian Village, Ed Goings learned how to make blowguns and darts, nap arrowheads, and make flutes out of rivercane. He served three years in the U.S. Army where he worked as a diesel mechanic. Currently he works as a mechanic for the Cherokee Department of Transportation.

Christina Goings was born in Bryson City and raised in Birdtown on the Qualla Boundary. She learned finger-weaving, beadwork, and pottery making from Alyne Stamper at the Cherokee High School, and she further developed these crafts while working at Oconoluftee Indian Village. There she began working with beads, and used them to decorate fans and belts. Her work is sold at the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual.

Ed and Christina Goings have demonstrated Cherokee arts and crafts at the Kituwah Festival in Asheville, at Mountain Heritage Day at Western Carolina University, and at the Oconoluftee Indian Village. Their work has been exhibited at galleries in Wise, Virginia, and in Greensboro, North Carolina, as well as at the Cherokee Fall Fair.

The Goings will travel within a day’s drive of Cherokee. They have children at home and must consider them in their travel plans. The amount of their fee is negotiable and must include travel expenses.


Box 51, Owl Branch
Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 497-2163, call after 4 p.m.

neg15_picGeorge Goings carves animal figures in wood and stone, using walnut, cherry, buckeye, holly, alabaster, red pipestone, and soapstone. He prefers to use black walnut more than other woods because its hardness enables him to carve with more detail. He exhibits his work and demonstrates wood and stone carving.

Born and raised on Owl Branch in the Yellow Hill community on the Qualla Boundary, George Goings attended elementary and high school in Cherokee. At Cherokee High School, he learned woodcarving from Amanda Crowe and has continued to carve for more than thirty years. He has lived all his life in Cherokee except for two years when he lived in Chillocco, Oklahoma, where he went to school to study heavy equipment transportation. Currently he works with the Cherokee Department of Transportation.

A member of the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, George Goings sells his work there and at the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh every fall. He has demonstrated carving at the Asheville Kituwah Festival and at Mountain Heritage Day at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina. With his wife Louise, a basketmaker, he attended President Clinton’s inaugural celebration honoring crafts people of the South.

George Goings is willing to travel anywhere if compensated for expenses, and he will negotiate his presentation fee. He brings his own tools for demonstration but needs access to an electrical outlet for lighting his exhibit area.


Box 51, Owl Branch
Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 497-7792

neg16_picLouise Goings makes Cherokee white oak baskets. She begins by searching out a white oak tree, which she transforms into a beautiful, sturdy basket. Often, she gathers her own materials – using bloodroot, the green leaves of walnut trees, and hulls from nut – to dye her oak splints before weaving. She can discuss this process and demonstrate basketweaving.

Louise Goings was born in 1947 and grew up on Goose Creek in the Birdtown Community. She attended Birdtown Day School until sixth grade, and then Cherokee High School. She has worked for twenty-eight years at Cherokee Elementary School as a teaching assistant. When she was ten years old, Louise learned to make a few baskets by watching her mother, Emma Taylor. These she sold for pocket money. After the birth of her son Eddie, she began to make baskets again in earnest and to travel – first with her mother, and then on her own – to demonstrate basketry.

A member of the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual since the late 1960s, Louise Goings has demonstrated basketry with her mother at the Festival of American Folk-life at the Smithsonian Institution and at the Natural History Museum of the Smithsonian. She and her husband George returned to Washington, D.C., in 1992 for President Clinton’s inaugural celebration honoring the crafts people of the South. Her baskets have won prizes at the Cherokee Fall Fair and at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, and elsewhere. She has demonstrated basket making in many schools, at the Mountain Heritage Day festival, and in hands on workshops for children at Western Carolina University.

Louise Goings enjoys demonstrating basketry for people of all ages, and will bring her own materials. If a hands-on workshop is desired, children need to be about 10 years old to be able to actually weave a basket. Although Louise Goings is available year-round, she has the most time to travel during summer months when school is not in session. Call to determine her fee.


Box 51, Owl Branch
Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 497-7792

neg17_picGeneral Grant gives lectures and workshops on Cherokee spirituality and medicine, woodcarving, silversmithing, bone and antler carving, flint knapping, drum making, primitive technology, and making reproductions of traditional artifacts. He is also an accomplished powwow dancer and is pictured here in powwow regalia.

General Grant grew up in East Tennessee in a family of eight children. His mother was a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. His father, a Lakota Sioux, gave him the name “General” in honor of General Ulysses S. Grant. “Both of my parents were artists by necessity,” he says, “because whatever they needed, they made. Today, those things they made are considered art.” At the age of fifteen, General Grant moved back to Cherokee and eventually settled there and started his own family. When he was injured doing carpentry work, he turned to the art forms he had learned from his parents as a way to earn a living and support his family.

Today, General Grant is owner and operator of the Traditional Hands Art Gallery and Studio in Cherokee, a working studio where visitors can purchase traditional and contemporary Indian art and talk with the artist. He has received awards for his work in many places including the Hunter Mountain Art Show, the Mohegan Powwow, the Pequot Powwow at Foxwoods Casino, and at White Wolf Presents. As a founding member of the Seven Clans Art Guild in Cherokee, he participates in shows and demonstration sponsored by the guild.

General Grant works with groups ranging in age from kindergartners to senior citizens, and he will present lectures and hands-on workshops designed for groups with special interests. His fee is negotiable and he is willing to travel if expenses are reimbursed. For hands-on workshops, he needs good lighting. If traveling outside the United States, he will need customs clearance for his materials.


P.O. Box 144
Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 497-3370 (phone)
(828) 497-3525 (fax)
courtesy of the artist

neg18_picTom Hill tells traditional Cherokee stories. He can adapt his storytelling presentations to any age group, from children to senior citizens. In addition to his storytelling performances, he also integrates Cherokee storytelling into his adventure-based youth programs.

Although he grew up in a family that traveled to accommodate his father’s career in the U.S. Navy, Tom Hill spent every summer in Cherokee with his grandmother, Elizabeth Hornbuckle. After he married, he and his wife moved to Cherokee, where they have lived for more than sixteen years (except for a two-year stint in the Peace Corps in Dominica). His storytelling career began while leading an Outward Bound program in Pisgah Forest, when he discovered how strongly young people responded to stories and how useful stories were to them. Tom Hill continues to integrate American Indian legends and personal experience stories into his work with adventure-based programs for Cherokee youth at the Cherokee Center for Family Services.

Others have discovered Tom Hill’s talent. He has done storytelling performances at Cherokee Elementary School, in the Graham County Schools, in schools in Florida, at the Highlander Center in Tennessee, and for Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops. He has found that children enjoy Cherokee stories whether they are sitting on the floor of their school library or negotiating a high ropes course. Recently, he began telling interactive stories, letting some of the children become part of the story.

Tom Hill has some flexibility with his work schedule and is willing to travel within a six-hour drive of Cherokee. His fee is negotiable and should include travel expenses.


434 Sitton Creek Road
Bryson City, NC 28713
(828) 488-8523 (home), evenings
(828) 497-7291 (work), leave message

neg19_picDavid Hornbuckle carves masks of the seven clans of the Cherokee. No stranger to the forest, he begins by finding and felling the trees for his carvings. In a shop behind his house he carves masks out of buckeye, bell wood, butternut, wild cherry, and walnut.

Raised on Stillwell Branch, David Hornbuckle has lived on the Qualla Boundary most of his life. All of his eleven brothers and sisters have some sort of artistic talent. “God’s gift is what it is,” he says. His brother Butch, another fine carver, helped him learn about carving, and David began by carving small animals and bowls. He attended Cherokee Elementary School and Cherokee High School, where he studied woodcarving with Amanda Crowe. About ten years ago, he began carving the masks, most of which depict the seven clans of the Cherokee.

His masks are in great demand in Cherokee, and he sells them through the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, and various craft shops including Talking Leaves, the Medicine Man, and shops in Southwest Village and Saunooke Village.

David Hornbuckle prefers to give carving demonstrations in the shop behind his house. His fee is negotiable. He can accommodate small groups. Call ahead of time to arrange a visit and get directions to his workshop.


PO Box 214
Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 497-4438
Ron Ruehl

neg20_picJenean Hornbuckle paints mountain landscapes in oil on canvas. She believes that her ability to see beauty in landscapes has been passed down over the years from her Cherokee ancestors.

Born on the Qualla Boundary, Jenean Hornbuckle attended Swain County High School, Appalachian State University, and finally Western Carolina University, where she obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Her father worked as a forester, protecting and preserving the mountains, and Jenean’s paintings also preserve the beauty of the mountains, in artistic form. While the aesthetics of her paintings come from traditional Cherokee culture, she developed her technical skill of painting in high school and college fine arts classes.

Jenean Hornbuckle’s impressive, large canvases have been exhibited in several shows at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, and her work also hangs in Harrah’s Cherokee Casino. Jenean Hornbuckle has been instrumental in starting the Seven Clans Art Guild, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping Cherokee artists show and sell their work.

From November to March, Jenean Hornbuckle is available to travel anywhere. From April through October, she operates her own business in Cherokee. Her fee is negotiable and should include travel expenses. She can demonstrate painting for a festival crowd or smaller audience, and can teach art classes as well. She provides her own materials but would need easels for displaying her work.


PO Box 542
Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 497-2091 (home)
(828) 497-3872 (work)

neg21_picMarie Junaluska speaks Cherokee fluently and writes the Sequoyah syllabary. In her presentations, she introduces the Cherokee language, incorporates activities based on Cherokee history and culture, and teaches songs in Cherokee. She enjoys working with groups of all ages.

Growing up in the Wolftown community of the Qualla Boundary, Marie Junaluska spoke only Cherokee until she attended the Soco Day School at age seven. She spent her high school years at boarding school in the Riverside Indian School in Anadarko, Oklahoma, where she met people from many Indian nations. Since the 1980s, she has taught the Cherokee language to students in Cherokee schools. From 1981 until 1996, she served as the Indian Clerk and Interpreter for the Tribal Council, training with Maggie Wachacha, the previous Interpreter. Since 1997, she has served as an elected member of the Tribal Council of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, representing the Painttown Community.

Marie Junaluska has presented educational programs throughout North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. She is an outstanding translator and educator and has worked with Special Collections at Western Carolina University, translating articles in the Cherokee Phoenix (published 1828-1834) from the Cherokee syllabary into English. One of Marie Junaluska’s translations into the Cherokee language and syllabary was featured in Living Stories of the Cherokee. She has served as a consultant on many projects, including the new permanent exhibit at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, the museum’s website, and film projects by Disney Imagineering. She is helping the Smithsonian Institution develop a Cherokee Indian exhibit for the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D. C.

Marie Junaluska adapts her presentations to audiences of all ages. Her presentation requires a black or white board, pointer, and flip chart. Her fees are negotiable, and she is willing to travel anywhere if travel expenses are reimbursed.


PO Box 455
Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 497-2771 (work) call between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

neg22_picVirgil Ledford carves animal and human figures out of walnut, cherry, buckeye, and cedar, finishing them to a high gloss. A talented and prolific carver, Virgil Ledford has made his living as a carver for many years and enjoys offering demonstrations of his craft.

Growing up in the Birdtown community, Virgil Ledford heard stories about his great-grandfather Murphy, who “could carve anything he wanted.” Virgil attended Birdtown Day School and Cherokee High School, where he studied woodcarving with Amanda Crowe for three years. He credits her with teaching him how to create his own unique designs while basing them in the culture of his people. After high school, he continued to teach himself about woodcarving. Aside from two jobs he held as an auto mechanic in the 1960s, Virgil Ledford has made a living as a woodcarver for many years: “I didn’t know it was going to be my livelihood. It’s a God given talent. I just made it work for me.” When he needs a break from carving, he tinkers with engines to keep up his mechanical skills.

Virgil Ledford has demonstrated woodcarving at Mountain Heritage Day in Cullowhee, and at events in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and in Clarksville, Georgia. He has carved many pieces on commission for private collections all across the country, and has also carved pieces for local churches. Some of his larger pieces depict historical and legendary Cherokee figures. His sculpture of Sequoyah was purchased by the Tennessee Valley Authority for the official opening of the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum in Vonore, Tennessee, and his sculpture of a Cherokee hunter with an eagle has became the official logo of the Museum of the Cherokee Indian in 1975. In 1995 he received a North Carolina Folk Heritage Award, and he has won prizes from the Ford Motor Company and the Cherokee Fall Fair for his carvings. Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, where he is a member and where he sells his carvings, has recognized Virgil Ledford with an award for his years of outstanding service.

Virgil Ledford will consider traveling anywhere to give a woodcarving demonstration, except during the summer, when he is generally not available. His fee is negotiable, and he must be compensated for travel expenses.


216 Old Soco Road
Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 497-6250

eld07_picAmanda Swimmer, one of the best-known potters in the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, still hand-builds and fresh pots in the traditional manner. She smooths them with river stones, and impresses designs on them with such things as wooden paddles and sea shells. After drying the pieces in the sun, she fires them in an open pit.

Born in 1921 and raised on the Qualla Boundary, Amanda Swimmer taught herself to form and fire pots after discovering a deposit of clay near her home in the Big Cove community. She sold her first pots to tourists that a park ranger brought to her home. At the age of thirty-six, she began working at the Oconoluftee Indian Village, where she learned traditional methods of pottery building from Mabel Bigmeat. Amanda Swimmer demonstrated pottery making at the village for more than thirty-five years, often building more than a thousand pots in a summer season.

Amanda Swimmer’s pottery has been nationally recognized and has earned her many awards. Her pots are on exhibit in North Carolina, Washington, D.C., and New Mexico. She received the North Carolina Folk Heritage Award in 1994 and has received prizes at the Cherokee Fall Fair. She continues to teach pottery making at Cherokee Elementary School, passing her tradition on not only to her family, but to today’s younger generation. She has demonstrated pottery making and taught classes in schools throughout western North Carolina, at the John C. Campbell Folk School, and at several colleges in Georgia.

She prefers to stay in the western part of the state and always travels with her daughter Merina Myers, who is also a potter and will demonstrate with her. Her demonstrations are appropriate for audiences of all ages, although hands-on classes should be with children 4th grade or older. Fridays and Saturdays are her best days for appearances. Clay needs to be provided for her at the site. Her fee is negotiable, and for hands-on workshops, a $5 fee per student should be added. All travel expenses must be covered additionally.


PO Box 790
Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 497-2942 (home)
(828) 497-3310 (work), call between 8 a.m. and 11a.m., Mon-Thurs

Merina Myers
(828) 837-6354

Darrin Bark potDarrin Bark is a young Cherokee potter, primarily self-taught, who is steeped in the aesthetic traditions of his family and community. The son and grandson of basket makers, he comes from a highly artistic family. Bark says that it was his cousin Joel Queen, a celebrated potter, who first “talked me into pottery.” Darrin and another cousin, Preston Bark, worked together when they were developing their respective firing techniques.

Bark’s pottery is characterized by a glossy black sheen, which he achieves by assiduous burnishing, and finely etched geometric and figural ornamentation. He draws his ideas for the etched motifs from a variety of sources. Some patterns are inspired by the work of his grandmother Martha Reed Bark, who was a basket maker and member of the Wolf Clan. Other ideas are gleaned from studying relics of early Cherokee art, patterns seen on ancient potsherds, and from consulting anthropological texts on American Indian aesthetic traditions. Still more ideas are inspired by day-to-day life in the Great Smoky Mountains. Cherokee folktales are represented in Bark’s work too, as in his water spider and Seven Sisters motifs.

In addition to his pottery, Darrin Bark makes pipes and other carvings, and one of his drawings, a winner in the Congressional Arts Competition, was displayed in the White House. He has also won awards for his art at the Cherokee Fall Festival.

Darrin Bark has taught and demonstrated at the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, of which he is a member, and has served as a resource person for scholars researching Cherokee pottery.


Darrin Bark is available to demonstrate and teach aspects of the Cherokee pottery tradition. His work is available for sale at the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual gallery, and directly from the artist at the various events where he shows his work, such as the Qualla Arts Open Air Indian Market in August and October.

Photo courtesy Sarah Bryan
Photo courtesy Sarah Bryan

eld09_picJerry Wolfe tells stories and talks about Cherokee history, culture, and language. His programs fascinate people of all ages. As a storyteller, Wolfe recounts traditional Cherokee legends, and also tells stories about his experiences growing up in Cherokee, about the boarding schools, and about stickball games. As a young man, he played Cherokee stickball and learned to carve the sticks from wood. Today he is often in demand as a “caller” or announcer for stickball games.

Born in the Sherrill Cove community “on the center line of the Blue Ridge Parkway,” Jerry Wolfe grew up listening to the stories of his parents, Owen and Luciana Wolfe. Throughout his lifetime, Jerry Wolfe has seen not only the coming of the Parkway to the location of his parents’ home, but many other changes as well. He attended the Cherokee Boarding School through tenth grade, when he enlisted in the Navy, during World War II. He served for six years and participated in the “D-Day” landing on Normandy Beach. When he returned to Cherokee he married his wife Juanita and began learning building trades, including stone masonry. He taught building trades to young people for twenty years with the federal Job Corps program. After his retirement, he began traveling with Methodist mission teams to do third world building projects, and has visited Jamaica, Barbados, Haiti, and South Africa.

At present, Jerry Wolfe works in the Outreach Program of the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. He has presented programs on Cherokee culture at High Point, Thomasville, Winston-Salem, and Fort Bragg in North Carolina, and at the Welcome Center on Route 26 entering North Carolina. Jerry Wolfe also practices stone masonry, and he calls the stickball games at the Cherokee Fair each fall.

Jerry Wolfe enjoys people and can work with groups of any age. He prefers to do programs near Cherokee, as he does not like to drive great distances. He will consider programs farther away if transportation can be provided. His fee is negotiable and must include compensation for expenses. He often does programs with his wife Juanita, a skilled basketmaker who works with white oak. Together they have demonstrated carving and basketmaking at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian’s Cherokee Voices Festivals, at the Cherokee Heritage Weekend of the Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College, and at the North Carolina Welcome Center.


Museum of the Cherokee Indian
PO Box 1599
Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 497-3481 (work), call between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

neg23_picErnie Lossiah, a member of the Wolf clan, makes and plays the traditional Cherokee flute. He also carves wood and stone, and he is an artist who works in pencil and in pen and ink.

Born and raised in the Piney Grove community on the Qualla Boundary, Ernie Lossiah attended both Cherokee Elementary and Cherokee High Schools. He learned woodcarving from Amanda Crowe in high school and has continued carving. He grew up in a very musical family; his father and all of his brothers play music. When he became interested in having a flute with wolves carved on it, a friend showed him how to carve a flute out of cedar, and he has been making and playing these flutes since then.

Ernie Lossiah has demonstrated flute making and playing at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. One of his carvings has been collected by the Smithsonian Institution. Recently he helped write and illustrate a book called The Secrets and Mysteries of the Cherokee Little People, which features legends about the mysterious Cherokee little people. Lossiah’s collaborator was his wife Lynn, also a talented artist. This book and Lossiah’s other work are available at the Gift Shop of the Museum of the Cherokee Indian and at the Medicine Man Craft Shop. Ernie Lossiah also sells his work through directly through Lossiah Arts, his self-owned company.

Ernie Lossiah travels with his wife. His fee for presenting programs is negotiable, and he would consider traveling anywhere if compensated for it. He can provide demonstration programs for audiences of any size. He prefers to be contacted by mail.


Lossiah Arts
PO Box 2215
Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 497-0118

neg24_picLucille Lossiah makes double and single weave baskets from white oak, maple, and rivercane. She strips her own cane to make splits and dyes these herself with black walnut, yellowroot, and bloodroot. From her mother, Mary Jane Lossiah, and her grandmother,

Betty Lossiah, Lucille learned the tradition and family styles of basketweaving. Maple weaving, she says, is her favorite because she learned it first. She was born in the Painttown community in Cherokee and graduated from Cherokee High School. As a child, Lucille Lossiah spoke the Cherokee language at home, not learning English until she started school. The Cherokee language is still the primary language she uses for conversations with her mother and her sister.

For fourteen years Lucille Lossiah has demonstrated basketweaving at the Oconaluftee Indian Village where she first learned rivercane basketry. She has demonstrated basketweaving along the East Coast from South Carolina to New York, and she demonstrates at the Atlanta History Museum every other year. Her work is sold at Qualla Arts and Crafts and The Indian Store in downtown Cherokee, and by special order.

Lucille Lossiah will do demonstrations for any size group and will travel anywhere, if given enough advance notice. At least two months prior notice by mail is suggested. She can travel with her sister Ramona Lossie or by herself. Her fee is negotiable but must include travel costs. Lucille Lossiah requests permission to sell her work at demonstrations.


PO Box 12
Cherokee, NC 28719

neg25_picRamona Lossie demonstrates double-weave rivercane, white oak, and maple basketmaking. She can also teach hands-on workshops to groups of any age, but particularly enjoys working with young people. Using pre-packaged materials, she will teach workshops on weaving white oak and maple baskets. Her workshops on rivercane basketweaving begin with collecting the rivercane, making splints, dyeing splints, and finally weaving the basket.

She grew up in the Painttown community in Cherokee and learned basketweaving from watching her mother and grandmother. After graduating from high school, she continued her education at Western Carolina University and the University of Tennessee. In her early twenties, she began to see basketweaving as something she could do as an artist. Now she supports herself through basketweaving so she can continue her family traditions and stay home with her two girls.

Ramona often travels from her home in Cherokee, North Carolina, to Knoxville, Tennessee. She has done many exhibitions and demonstrations at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and helped organize a Native American exhibition celebration at the university. She has participated in numerous fairs and powwows by demonstrating and teaching basketweaving, and by selling her work. Her work has won blue ribbons at festivals in Chicago, Albuquerque, and Wisconsin, and it has been featured in an Atlanta newspaper. Her baskets are on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and in museums in Albuquerque, Chicago, Atlanta, and in Florida. In Cherokee her work is sold at Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, Talking Leaves, Bigmeet Pottery, and the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.

Ramona Lossie will travel anywhere to teach and demonstrate. For distances over two hundred miles from Cherokee, she requires a deposit for mileage. She recommends initiating contact at least two months before scheduled events. She can be contacted by mail. Her fees are negotiable and she requires reimbursement for travel expenses. She also requests permission to sell her work at demonstrations and workshops.


PO Box 1684
Cherokee, NC 28719

neg26_picBetty Maney makes white oak baskets, pottery, Cherokee dolls, and a variety of beadwork pieces. In addition to being a talented crafts person and demonstrator, she also excels as an educator in hands-on workshops.

Growing up in the Big Cove community, Betty Maney attended Cherokee schools through the seventh grade. Her mother, a basketmaker who was raising eight children, then moved the family to Florida to seek better employment. Betty Maney’s mother had learned basketry from her mother-in-law, Annie Powell Welch, and Betty Maney, in turn, learned basketry from watching her mother. “God gave me the talent of basketmaking in the early years as a little girl,” she says. “It was then that I began to pay close attention to the details of how Mom would construct her white oak baskets.”

Betty Maney returned to Cherokee in 1982 with a family of her own, and gradually began to reconnect with Cherokee arts and crafts. In the late 1980s, she began making white oak baskets again. Her husband Sam splits the white oak for her and makes the hickory handles; Betty uses bloodroot and butternut to dye the splints. When she became interested in pottery, she sought out Amanda Swimmer and learned from her, as well as from her own sister-in-law, Melissa Ann Maney. “If I like something, I just start asking questions of people, then reading, and learning,” she explains. More recently, she began to design brilliant beaded jewelry and a unique series of beaded tablecloths, lamp shades, and valances.

Betty Maney has demonstrated basketry and beadwork in Cincinnati, Ohio, Huntington, New York, and at The Healing of Our Spirits Conference in Sydney, Australia. She has displayed her work at the Asheville Kituwah Festival, the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, and the Cherokee Voices Festival. Her miniature baskets and her beadwork have won first place at the Cherokee Fall Fair for three consecutive years. She has taught basketry, beadwork, and pottery to the advanced art class at Swain High School and conducted hands-on workshops at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. She teaches each year at the Cherokee Youth Arts and Culture camp sponsored by the Qualla Housing Authority Drug Elimination Program. Her work is available at Qualla Arts and Crafts, the gift shop of the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, the Medicine Man Arts and Crafts shop, and from Betty Maney directly.

Betty Maney is willing to travel anywhere if her travel expenses are reimbursed, and the amount of her fee is negotiable. She is not available to work or demonstrate on Sundays.


PO Box 170
Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 497-7708, call between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Fax: same number

neg27_picKatrina Maney weaves white oak baskets dyed with bloodroot and walnut. She has made baskets in many forms, such as plant holders, fishing creels, purses, wastebaskets, fruit baskets, and wall baskets. She gives demonstrations and teaches classes in basketry.

Born in Swain County and raised in the Birdtown community on the Qualla Boundary, Katrina Maney began weaving baskets when she was fourteen years old, learning from her mother, the well-known basketmaker Emma Taylor. After graduating from Cherokee High School, she demonstrated basket weaving at the Oconoluftee Indian Village for seven years. She married and had three children, and then began making baskets again. Although she makes a variety of basket forms, she continues to use her mother’s patterns in her baskets.

Katrina Maney demonstrates at the Oconoluftee Indian Village from May through October every year and has demonstrated basketry at elementary schools in North Carolina and Tennessee. She sells her baskets through Qualla Arts and Crafts. Katrina has also created a white oak basketmaking kit for beginners. Her fee for demonstrations is $100 per day, and she is willing to travel if expenses are reimbursed.


PO Box 564
Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 497-6143

neg28_picLouise Bigmeet Maney offers pottery demonstrations and more general Cherokee cultural heritage presentations, including foodways discussions accompanied by samples for tasting. She and her husband, John Henry Maney, also a potter, work frequently with school groups and adult audiences. Together, they operate the Bigmeet House of Pottery on Route 19 in Cherokee. There they sell their own work and that of other Cherokee traditional crafts people, and also maintain an outstanding display of Cherokee crafts and historical photographs.

Born and raised on Wrights Creek, Louise Bigmeet (a surname meaning, “big meeting place”) grew up helping her mother make pottery, some of which they traded for coffee, sugar, and flour. She traces her heritage as a potter through generations of Cherokee women: Louise’s mother, Charlotte Welch Bigmeat (an older spelling of the name), and her aunt, Maude Welch, were both prominent Cherokee potters.

After attending Soco Day School and Cherokee Central High School, Louise Bigmeet Maney worked for years as an educator in the local community development program and in the local schools. When she retired in 1987, she returned to making pottery, and she and her husband opened their own shop. All their work is finished using traditional methods. Louise Maney’s pottery continues to be in great demand, and has been collected by the Smithsonian Institution.

Louise Bigmeet Maney takes seriously her role as educator. Local school groups and others have discovered that a visit to the Bigmeet House of Pottery provides an educational experience. She is active in the North American Indian Women’s Association (NAIWA) and in the Painttown Community Organization. For her work in preserving Cherokee tradition, Louise Bigmeet Maney received the North Carolina Folk Heritage Award in 1998.

Louise Bigmeet Maney prefers to do programs and demonstrations in the western parts of North Carolina, but will consider traveling to other areas. She travels with her husband, and they have more time available during the winter months than during the summer. Her fee is negotiable, and must include compensation for travel.


PO Box 583
Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 497-9544, call anytime before 9 p.m.

neg29_picMelissa Ann Maney demonstrates traditional pottery making and also teaches hands-on pottery classes to groups of all ages. She particularly enjoys working with students who are eight-to-twelve years old.

Growing up in the Yellowhill community on the Qualla Boundary, Melissa Maney learned the traditional Cherokee method of making pottery at home. Her grandmother, Cora Wahnetah, was a well known Cherokee potter whose work is owned by the Department of the Interior and is on permanent display at Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual in Cherokee. Melissa’s mother, Charlotte Wahnetah Maney, grew up watching her own mother Cora, and she passed on many of those traditional styles to her family.

Melissa Ann Maney has taught in several Cherokee communities, at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, and at the Cherokee Youth Center (part of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America). She has demonstrated at arts festivals and has pottery in the McKissick Museum in Columbia, South Carolina.

Her work has received many ribbons and awards. She won frst place for her pottery at the Cherokee Fall Fair, and frst place in the Emerging Artist category at the Kituwah festival in Asheville. She has exhibited her pottery in North Carolina, South Carolina, and at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.

Melissa Ann Maney is willing to travel throughout the region, although her time is limited. Clay should be provided for her on-site. To complete pottery through the fring stage, the class schedule needs to include time for drying the clay slowly. Call her at home to discuss arrangements. Her fee is negotiable and should include reimbursement for travel expenses.


PO Box 882
Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 497-3119 (work)
(828) 497-5277 (home)

neg30_picShirley Jackson Oswalt does beadwork, carves designs on gourds, and makes white oak baskets. She demonstrates these crafts at festivals and schools, and can also teach hands-on workshops. She can also lecture about Cherokee crafts in general, for example, explaining how blowguns are made. Shirley grows the gourds that she carves as well as the corn beads she uses in beadwork. Other natural materials such as vines and seeds are incorporated into her work. A native speaker of the Cherokee language, she can lecture on and provide workshops about the language.

Born at home in the Snowbird Community, Shirley Jackson Oswalt grew up attending the Snowbird Indian School. This was not a boarding school, but a small Indian community school, and she describes it as a really good experience. “They taught us to do the very best we could in whatever we did. And they taught us to keep our Cherokee language.” Shirley also learned traditional crafts from her family. When she was a child, she watched her mother weave baskets and do beadwork. Later she learned more about beadwork from her sister-in-law. “I try to learn a little bit of everything,” she says.

Shirley Jackson Oswalt has demonstrated beadwork and basketry, taught workshops, and provided programs at schools in her own community and throughout North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. She has participated in many festivals, including the Fading Voices Festival in Snowbird, the Cherokee Voices Festival at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, and the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum Festival in Tennessee. She is a member of the Seven Clans Art Guild.

Shirley Jackson Oswalt is willing to travel and to work with groups of all ages. Travel expenses should be compensated. Her fee is negotiable, but payment should also include the expense of materials for hands-on workshops.


Box 331 Jackson Branch Rd.
Robbinsville, NC 28771
(828) 479-8425

neg31_picFreeman Owle tells traditional Cherokee stories, carves wood and stone, and talks about Cherokee culture and history. He can demonstrate wood and stone carving, and he can provide hands-on carving workshops. Demonstrations and workshops can be arranged for small or large groups of all ages.

Growing up in the Birdtown community, Freeman Owle learned to carve wood at an early age. “Every young man had a knife in his pocket from the age of seven,” he says. At Cherokee High School, he studied woodcarving with Amanda Crowe. He started by carving wooden bowls, which he sold to Qualla Arts and Crafts. He later attended Gardner Webb College and then earned a Master’s degree in Education from Western Carolina University. He taught sixth grade at Cherokee Elementary for fourteen years, and while teaching, he began to tell the Cherokee stories he had learned growing up.

Freeman Owle has told stories and presented programs on Cherokee history and culture throughout the Southeast for more than ten years. His audiences have included children, school teachers, executives on retreat, Elderhostel groups, and the general public. Locations for these programs have ranged from public schools in several states and the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching in Cullowhee to Lake Junaluska, Cataloochee Ranch, the Offcer’s Club at Fort Benning, Georgia, and the Appalachian Studies Conference. He has also led retreats at the Living Waters Reflection Center in Maggie Valley, North Carolina. In addition, he has given demonstrations of stone carving and woodcarving, along with hands-on carving workshops, at universities in Kentucky and North Carolina and at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.

Well known in the Cherokee community, Freeman Owle serves on the board of directors of the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual and is a coordinator for the Cherokee Heritage Trails project of the Blue Ridge Heritage Initiative. He is one of the featured storytellers in the book Living Stories of the Cherokee, and he also appears in the video documentary Cherokee: The Principal People, which aired on public television in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Kentucky.

Freeman Owle is willing to travel extensively. Call to determine his fees for presentations and his travel costs. He will need a sound system for larger audiences.


PO Box 855
Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 497-5317, call between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.
Fax: same number

neg32_picLloyd Carl Owle uses his knowledge of legends and stories to carve masks, birds, and animals, describing his work as “realistic with subtle emphasis on the mystical.” He demonstrates stone and wood carving, and uses a slide program to discuss carving and other Cherokee arts. He also speaks on Cherokee culture, history, and spirituality.

Born in 1943 and raised on the Qualla Boundary, Lloyd Owle went to Birdtown Day School, Cherokee High School, Swain High School, and Western Carolina University. He took wood carving classes in high school, and was inspired by Mose Owle, who worked for the Cherokee Historical Association and made stone pipes carved with animal fgures. Lloyd Owle also learned from John Julius Wilnoty, an internationally known Cherokee carver. Since 1990, Lloyd Owle has worked at the Unity Regional Youth Treatment Center, where he applies the teachings of Cherokee arts, crafts, history, and culture to help youths who are battling alcoholism and drug addiction. Art, he believes, is a way of communication. A spiritual man himself, Lloyd Owle also uses the Cherokee sweat lodge to aid troubled youths. Indian Health Services of the United South and Eastern Tribes employs Lloyd Owle as their Cultural Intervention Specialist, the frst position of this sort to make use of traditional teachings and knowledge in youth rehabilitation.

Lloyd Owle has taught carving classes all across the country, including New York City, Washington D.C., and th Arrowmont Center in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, as well as in numerous community colleges and public schools. He ha taught in the teacher training programs and elderhostel programs at Western Carolina University, and he demonstrate carving at the WCU Mountain Heritage Day. His carvings are available for sale directly from him and also a the Museum of the Cherokee Indian Gift Shop, Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, and other shops in Cherokee. He ha been featured in articles in Mountain Living and Appalachian Heritage magazines.

Lloyd Owle will travel anywhere to present programs, as his work schedule allows. Call him for information about fees. In addition, all travel, food, and hotel expenses must be covered. He requests payment at the time of service.


PO Box 331
Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 497-6854, call between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

neg33_picPolly Rattler teaches hands-on workshops in corn shuck doll making, beadwork, and miniature basketmaking. She can work with groups of any age. She has adapted her workshops on baskets and and corn shuck dolls for kindergarten to third grade students.

The daughter of Elsie and Leroy Rattler and granddaughter of Morgan and Bertha Rattler and Jake and Lula Wolfe, Polly Rattler traces her lineage back to the removal of the Cherokee people. She was born in Cherokee and grew up in both Robbinsville and Cherokee, attending Little Snowbird School, Cherokee Elementary School, and Cherokee High School. Cherokee was her family’s primary language, so Polly Rattler did not learn English until she began attending school. All of her six brothers are carvers and one is also a basketmaker. Polly Rattler learned her crafts from watching her family and other elders. She remembers her Grandmother Bertha Rattler trading baskets for shoes and other needs, and giving Polly the extra splints to learn with.

For ten years Polly Rattler attended powwows, demonstrating and selling her work all over the country. She received numerous awards and ribbons at powwows and festivals for her work and has pieces in museums in Cherokee and at the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum in Tennessee. She later began concentrating on flling special orders for her work, spending more time at home in her workshop. Her elegantly detailed corn shuck dolls are special ordered by stores and galleries in North Carolina, New York, Washington State, and Oklahoma. For the last nine years she has demonstrated at the “Village of Yesteryear” at the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh. She is a member of Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual where her work is available for sale.

Polly Rattler will travel anywhere if compensated for travel. Her fee is negotiable, and she prefers to be contacted by phone.


PO Box 704
Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 497-4573

neg34_picBob Reed demonstrates the making of arrowheads, blowguns, and blowgun darts as well as the use of the blowgun. He also demonstrates wood carving and chipping arrowheads. His presentations describe Cherokee life during the 1500 – 1600s, a time when Cherokees were making their own tools. Typically, he presents school programs for students in 5th grade and older, and he always leaves time for question and answer sessions.

Bob Reed grew up in the Big Cove Community of the Qualla Boundary and attended Cherokee Elementary and High Schools. He learned much about the old Cherokee way of life from his grandfather. As a youngster, he was fascinated with old arrowheads, and later learned the art of arrowhead chipping from Johnson Bradley. Bob Reed learned woodcarving from the renowned artist Amanda Crowe when she taught at Cherokee High School. In 1965, he joined the U.S. Army and served in the Vietnam war. He has been working as a guide at the Oconuluftee Indian Village since 1969, where he learned to make blowguns, darts, and bowdrills. Bob Reed is a champion blowgun competitor.

Through his years of experience at the Oconaluftee Living History Village, Bob Reed has become comfortable with the public. In the mid-1970s, Bob Reed began giving school presentations about Cherokee life and culture. He has performed at Mountain Heritage Day at Western Carolina University, at Mars Hill College, at many area school system throughout western North Carolina, and at events in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia.

Call to discuss the amount of his fee. Bob Reed will travel anywhere, as long as his travel costs are reimbursed. He will need help lifting any demonstration equipment that weighs more than fve pounds.


PO Box 615
Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 497-6356

neg35_picRichard Saunooke has been creating historically accurate and beautiful Native American dress and crafts for the past twenty years. He does meticulous beadwork, leatherwork, quillwork, and painting to create medicine bags, pipe bags, pouches, shields, knife sheaths, quivers, and drums.

Born and raised in Chicago, Richard Saunooke moved to Cherokee in the mid 1980s to live on land owned by his father, Freeman Saunooke. Richard Saunooke has worked for many years at Cherokee High School. While still living in Chicago, he attended the Feast of the Hunter’s Moon Festival, an eighteenth-century re-enactment in West Lafayette, Indiana, sponsored by the Tippicanoe Historical Society. This event inspired him to create his own accoutrements for the French and Indian War era, which he wore to the festival the following year.

For the past twenty years, Richard Saunooke has continued to research artifacts from that era and has perfected the techniques necessary to create them. He uses glass beads, feathers, fur, porcupine quills, hides and bone, collecting some of these from the wild and bartering for others. He begins each piece by studying and collecting historical information, using museum publications to obtain accurate detailed knowledge. He antique materials and airbrushes feathers to get the exact look he wants.

Richard Saunooke has demonstrated his craft at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, and at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, where his work is on exhibit and for sale. He also makes and sells work to private collectors.

He is available for demonstrations, but must coordinate engagements with his work schedule. The amount of his fee is negotiable and must cover any travel expenses.


PO Box 1689
Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 497-5532 (home)

neg36_picBud Smith carves wood into bears, birds, and other lively fgures. He teaches workshops in wood carving, demonstrates carving, and also exhibits his work. “I consider wood carving a fne art, not a craft,” Smith says.

Growing up in the Big Y community of the Qualla Boundary, Bud Smith graduated from Cherokee High School, where he learned to carve from Amanda Crowe. Although he lived in the western United States for some years, Smith has returned home. He now teaches wood carving at Cherokee High School. “To carry on for Amanda Crowe is my mission,” he says.

Smith’s carvings, in a variety of woods, have been widely exhibited and have received recognition nationally. He has exhibited at the Santa Fe Indian Market, the Heard Museum in Phoenix, the Dallas Art Market, the Albuquerque Cultural Center, the Giduwah Festival in Asheville, and the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. He has taught carving at the Cherokee Heritage Weekend of the Swannanoa Gathering and in other settings.

Bud Smith is willing to travel and can teach hands-on workshops, demonstrate carving, and exhibit his work. He needs tables. His fees are negotiable and should include travel expenses. The best time to contact him is after 4 p. m. at his home phone number. He can take occasional calls at work during the time he is not teaching.


PO Box 2291
Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 497-7739, after 4 p. m. on weekdays

neg37_picEmily Smith makes white oak baskets and honeysuckle baskets with materials gathered from the woods and dyed with natural dyes. She can demonstrate basketry, or she can teach small group hands-on workshops. She enjoys working with students of any age, up to and including senior citizens. Groups should include no more than ffteen students.

Born and raised on Indian Creek, Emily Smith has lived on the Qualla Boundary all of her life. She attended day school at the Big Cove school, and eventually earned her GED. Both her father and mother were basket makers; her mother in particular made white oak baskets. When Emily was eight years old, she began making baskets with little oak strips that her parents discarded. Her frst basket was a bread basket, and her family used it to store silverware for many years. Her husband Levi Smith has helped her locate the white oak trees, fell them, split the logs, and then strip the wood to provide splints for her baskets. She dyes some of these strips with walnut and with bloodroot for decorative weaving. Emily Smith has presented programs about basketry at schools and colleges in Georgia, North Carolina, and Alabama.

Although she occasionally makes baskets from honeysuckle vines, she is best known for her white oak baskets. Accompanied by her daughter JoAnn, Emily Smith is willing to travel throughout the region to demonstrate basketmaking or teach one-day workshops. Her daughter assists her with driving and with the programs. Hands-on workshops must supply the following materials on site: scissors or knives for each student, tables, and blue denim or other thick material for padding the lap while weaving the white oak splints. Their fee is negotiable and must include compensation for any travel.


276 Sherrill Cove Road
Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 497-2166 (home)

neg38_picEddie Swimmer is an accomplished dancer, storyteller, and public speaker. His programs include dance, storytelling, plant lore, and explorations of stereotypes. He performs a number of Native American dances including the Apache Spirit Dance, Iroquois dance, Cherokee traditional dances, and Northwest coastal dances. Raised in the Big Cove Community on the Qualla Boundary, Eddie Swimmer frst learned dancing from his family. By watching traditional dancers, he learned Cherokee dance steps. After attending Western Carolina University and Brigham Young University, he moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he studied with Tony Whitecloud, founder of the modern Native American Hoop dance.

For several years, Eddie Swimmer held the title of the World Champion Hoop dancer, and for more than ten years, he toured the world with Native American dance groups, performing throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Eddie Swimmer performed in the opening ceremonies of the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, at the 1994 World Cup Soccer Tournament in Dallas, and in the 1993 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Also in New York he choreographed a hoop dance number in the Broadway production of Annie Get Your Gun. He is the founder of the native dance group Native Movements. Eddie Swimmer has also toured extensively with numerous musical groups: Robbie Robertson’s “Music of the Native Americas,” Tony Hymes of the Jeff Beck Band, The Edge of U2, Joanne Shanadoah, Ulali, Floyd “Red Crow” Westerman, and Buffy Saint Marie. After eighteen years based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Eddie Swimmer has relocated to his home in Cherokee. His portrait appears on the U.S. postage stamp for the Native Dance Series.

Swimmer’s programs typically last about forty-fve minutes. He works with people of all ages and is willing to travel anywhere. For performances, he needs a microphone, an audio cassette/ CD player, and at minimum an eight-by-ten foot room with an eight-foot high ceiling. His fee is negotiable and must cover any travel costs.


PO Box 2354
Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 497-9154 (home)

neg39_picJames “Bo” Taylor’s programs include Cherokee dancing, powwow dancing, dance songs, and discussion of Cherokee history, culture, and stereotypes. He is pictured here wearing the regalia of a powwow grass dancer. He adapts his presentations to audiences of all ages and sizes, and always encourages them to participate in dancing and discussion.

Raised in the Wolfetown community on the Qualla Boundary, Bo Taylor is a member of the Cherokee Long Hair clan. As a boy, Bo Taylor danced in downtown Cherokee with Leroy Tramper. His grandfather Larch Taylor sang to him in the Cherokee language and danced with him.

Describing himself as “big into the old ways,” Bo Taylor feels he has earned his Cherokee name of Come Back Wolf. Bo has “come back” to the traditional Cherokee ways from a time when he was a high school football star, but ashamed to be Indian. He has studied, practiced, and promoted his Cherokee heritage.

Greatly influenced by his time spent with elders Walker Calhoun and Robert Bushyhead, Bo Taylor has learned the Cherokee dances and can read and write the Cherokee language. He has also learned songs and dances from wax cylinders that Will West Long recorded in the 1930s, and has taught these dances to children. He earned a degree in anthropology with a minor in Cherokee Studies from Western Carolina University and now serves as archivist at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.

Bo Taylor found his strength as a grass dancer at age nineteen, and since then has won many trophies, championships, and cash prizes. “Dancing paid my way through college,” he says. He continues to dance at powwows in the Southeast, in Oklahoma, and in Canada. His presentations to schools and other groups have covered the Southeast, and he also participates in the Educational Outreach Program of the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.

Bo Taylor is available for programs on dance, music, storytelling, and Cherokee culture for groups of all ages and sizes He is willing to travel anywhere if reimbursed for travel expenses. His fee is negotiable. For larger audiences, amplifcation will be needed.


PO Box 589
Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 497-9289 (home)
(828) 497-3481 (work)

neg40_picShirley Taylor makes white oak baskets dyed with walnut and bloodroot. She can also demonstrate basketmaking and teach hands-on classes.

Born and raised in Big Cove, Shirley Taylor graduated from Cherokee High School and continues to live on the Qualla Boundary, where she owns and manages a motel. She learned basketry from her mother-in-law, well-known basketmaker Emma Taylor, and has practiced basketmaking for the past ffteen years. Her grandchildren are now learning to make baskets from her.

Shirley Taylor has presented programs and hands-on workshops for elementary schools, heritage days, and festivals. A member of the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, she sells her baskets there, at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, and by special order. Her baskets have won ribbons at the Cherokee Fall Fair and are exhibited at the Mountain Heritage Center at Western Carolina University.

From November through March, Shirley Taylor is available to demonstrate basketmaking, from producing the splints and dyeing them to weaving the basket. She recommends at least four-to-fve hours of instruction for making a simple basket. She can provide materials. Her fee is negotiable, and travel, lodging, and expenses should be included. She would like permission to sell her baskets when she does demonstrations.


Star Rt, Box 14
Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 497-4618

neg41_picReuben Teesatuskie is skilled in woodcarving, silversmithing, and storytelling. He presents programs that include Cherokee language, history, and storytelling. He also demonstrates wood carving and teaches Cherokee traditional dances.

Reuben Teesatuskie (tee-sah-tes-skee) was born and raised on a hill overlooking the center of the town of Cherokee, the son of a preacher from Robbinsville who could read and write the Cherokee language. While living near the Mountainside Theater where the outdoor drama Unto These Hills is presented, Reuben Teesatuskie worked there for thirteen summers, beginning at age twelve. As a teenager he learned silversmithing from Florence Martin and woodcarving from Amanda Crowe. The frst bowl he made won frst prize at the Cherokee Fall Fair. On graduating from Cherokee High School, he attended the Institute for American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he continued to study silversmithing.

While working on the Cherokee Progress and Challenge Project, Reuben Teesatuskie visited and interviewed many tribal elders, learning about Cherokee culture. As editor of the Cherokee One Feather newspaper, he edited and published these interviews. He has served on the Tribal Council, and directed the Cherokee Ceremonial Grounds for four years.

Reuben Teesatuskie has lectured on Cherokee culture in museums and schools from Virginia to California. He taught a three-day course at the Nantahala Whitewater Center in western North Carolina. He also lectures for groups through the Educational Outreach Program at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.

He adapts programs to the needs of his audience. The amount of his fee is negotiable, and he will consider traveling anywhere if reimbursed. He requests amplifcation for large audiences.


PO Box 1654
Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 497-2043, call between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

neg42_picAmy Walker presents programs on Cherokee medicine and spirituality for groups of all ages and sizes. In her presentations, she uses legends, artwork, and personal experiences to explain Cherokee spirituality.

Born on the Qualla Boundary to a Cherokee mother and Lakota Sioux father, Amy Walker grew up on a farm in middle Tennessee and returned to Cherokee when she was twenty years old. She learned medicine from both her mother and father. Her mother grew many medicinal herbs on their farm, and they traveled throughout the region selling liniments, herbs, tonics and teas. People visited their home for treatment, where songs, prayers and plants were used “to enable a person to live life in a good way.”

Traditionalist, healer, and grandmother, Amy Walker’s spiritual journey has also been influenced by healers from Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Australia. She performs healing ceremonies and is a spiritual teacher. She also brings these traditions to bear in her practices as a social worker. She says, “Most healing work needs to come from within.”

Amy Walker has presented programs at the Unity Treatment Center in Cherokee, the Adult Chemical Dependency Unit at the Cherokee Indian Hospital, and the Cherokee Center for Family Services at The White Path Center. She often speaks at the annual North Carolina meeting of the Head Start program. She was featured in the exhibit “Health and Healing” at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh.

Amy Walker works with people of all ages and audiences of all sizes. She is willing to travel when she can coordinate arrangements with her job. Her fee is negotiable, but must include compensation for travel expenses. For large audiences, she needs amplifcation.


PO Box 957
Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 497-9156 (work)

neg43_picThe Welch Family Singers – Alfred and Maybelle Welch, Mark and Nan Brown, and Lucy Weeks – perform gospel songs in English and in Cherokee. They accompany their traditional four-part harmonies with guitar and bass. “This is our ministry,” Alfred Welch says, “our work for the Lord.” Their renditions of hymns in the Cherokee language are part of a two-hundred-yearold tradition of Christian music among the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

Alfred Welch grew up in the Big Cove community on the Qualla Boundary and attended school in Big Cove and Cherokee. He joined the army at age sixteen and served in Vietnam. In 1967, he moved to the Snowbird community, and has lived there ever since. Today he works on road construction and teaches Cherokee language at the Zion Hill Baptist Church. His wife, Maybelle, grew up in the Snowbird Community, attending the Snowbird Indian School and public school in Robbinsville.

Mark Brown also grew up in the Snowbird community. He sang bass for the Snowbird Quartet for many years. His wife Nan grew up in the Big Y community on the Qualla Boundary. She attended Cherokee Elementary School and graduated from Cherokee High School. Also playing with the group is Lucy Weeks, daughter of Mark Brown, who grew up in Snowbird. She plays bass guitar for the Welch Family Singers and also for several other local groups, including the praise band at her church.

The Welch Family Singers have been performing together for about ten years. They consider gospel songs in the Cherokee language to be their specialty. Alfred and Maybelle Welch and Mark and Nan Brown grew up speaking the Cherokee language and began singing in church. The Welch Family Singers have sung in Oklahoma, Georgia, Virginia, and for many churches and benefts locally. The group also performs annually for the Trail of Tears Gospel Singing in Little Snowbird.

The quartet is willing to travel “wherever the Lord takes us.” Fees will be negotiated on an individual basis. A sound system will be needed for large audiences.


Route 1, Box 110D
Robbinsville, NC 28771
(828) 479-9033 (Alfred and Maybelle Welch)