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Lucille Lossiah

Lucille Lossiah

Cherokee basketmaker Cherokee, NC (Qualla Boundary)

Lucille Lossiah

Lucille 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. She learned the family styles of weaving from her mother, Mary Jane Lossiah, and her grandmother, Betty Lossiah. Maple weaving, she says, is her favorite because she learned it first. Her knowledge of the basketweaving tradition became crucial several years ago when she and her sister Ramona became the only living practitioners of that art among the Eastern Band. They taught classes sponsored by the Qualla Arts and Crafts Coop and the Museum of the Cherokee Indian until the tradition became firmly rooted in the community once again.

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. Her baskets often receive recognition at the Cherokee Fall Fair.


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.

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