Qualla Arts and Crafts promotes traditional Cherokee arts and crafts with each being authentic, homemade and one of a kind. Each piece of art represents the Cherokee culture, traditions and has evolved over hundreds of years.
The Open Air Art Market will highlight 25 native/Cherokee artists who will display and sell their arts and crafts. Some of the crafts highlighted at this event will include basket weaving, pottery, wood carving, stone carving, weaponry, and beadwork.
Of all the traditional Cherokee crafts, basket weaving is the best known. There are several different styles of baskets: river cane, white oak, and honeysuckle vine baskets. The splints used to make the baskets are often dyed using black walnut for a shade of black and bloodroot to make shades of orange. Some splints are left natural and adding the different colors of splints to each basket gives the artist the ability to create many different patterns and designs in the basket.
Clay from the earth is mixed with water, molded and coiled into various styles of pots, pipes, bowls and wedding vessels using traditional Cherokee methods to shape and imprint designs on the pots. Carved wooden paddles are used to make designs on the pots. The pots are then fired in pits using native bark and woods.
The beadwork of the Cherokee has evolved from using bones and claws of wild animals to using glass beads, flax thread and a steel needle. One technique the Cherokee use called “solid” beadwork allows them to create beautiful pieces of art. Each bead is sewn one bead at a time with the thread going through the previous bead. Double threading, as this is called, allows the art work to be easily mended if it were to break. Another technique known as scroll work enables Cherokees to decorate their clothing with beads. Cherokee beadwork takes the form of necklaces, earrings, and key chains. It can also be incorporated into other pieces of artwork.
Traditionally, the Cherokee used wood carving for creating things of necessity, such as: bowls, utensils, tools, furniture and ceremonial mask. After the opening of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, word carving transformed into a more decorative art to appeal more to visitors. You will also see displays of modern wood and stone sculptures and weaponry such as spear tips and arrowheads.
A highlight at this year’s event will be an interactive “Little People’s” area where children can meet and interact with a “Cherokee Friend”. The “Cherokee Friends” are goodwill ambassadors and dress in traditional Cherokee regalia. They tell Cherokee stories and legends and can answer questions about things to see and do while on your visit to Cherokee. The interactive “Little People’s” area will have activities for children such as coloring, face painting, learning to make pots using clay and other activities.
What better place to spend a Labor Day weekend, than in Cherokee, North Carolina at the Qualla Arts and Crafts Indian Art Market! The area lends itself to the natural beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains with fresh flowing streams and many attractions to visit. Along with the Art Market, the Museum of Cherokee Indians is a must see. There you will learn the story of the Cherokee people through their extensive artifact exhibit and their use of state of the art technology. You can also experience the Oconaluftee Indian Village by taking the guided tour through a replica of a Cherokee village during the 18th century. At the Indian Village you will see traditional crafts demonstrations, learn about the history and culture of Cherokee and see the typical homes and council house of the Cherokee.
We look forward to seeing you in Cherokee, September 3-4, 2010 for a Cherokee experience you won’t forget!
For more information, visit us at www.quallaartsandcrafts.org or call us at 828.497.3103.
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