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Polly Rattler

Polly Rattler

Cherokee doll maker, beadworker, basketmaker Cherokee, NC (Qualla Boundary)

Polly Rattler

Polly 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 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 filling 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.

Available Services