Ramona Lossie demonstrates double-weave rivercane, white oak, and 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. Her knowledge of the rivercane basketweaving tradition became crucial several years ago when she and her sister Lucille 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 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, Wisconsin, and Cherokee North Carolina. She 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. Her fees are negotiable and she requires reimbursement for travel expenses. She also requests permission to sell her work at demonstrations and workshops.