This basket is woven in a traditional style used for storage. It is woven using split white oak alternated with black walnut weavers in an over-and-under style.
A Cherokee basket maker uses no patterns or drawings to create a basket. Her patterns are in her soul, in her memory and imagination. They come from the mountains, streams and forests, and the traditions of her tribe. All Cherokee baskets are of woven by hand and the function of the basket is the first consideration for its shape. The baskets are used as sifters, packs, to carry fish and for storage. The dyes used to create designs are from roots, barks, leaves, nuts, flowers, fruits, stems, seeds or sometimes a complete plant. The dyes utilized by a basket maker depend on what is available at the time of weaving. Bloodroot might be chosen to obtain a yellowish color; black walnut for a brown; butternut produces a black color; and elderberries produce a rose color; The color derived also is determined by the part of the plant used. Using the bark or twigs of Bloodroot will give a yellow color, but if the root of the plant is used, it produces a red-brown color. The intensity and depth of color is determined by how long the plant material for the basket is allowed to soak.
Condition: Excellent- original condition
Provenance: Acquired from a family member who purchased this basket in 1963 in Cherokee, North Carolina.