Virgil Crowe demonstrates woodcarving. His work includes dance and ceremonial masks, clan masks, and bird and animal figures. Virgil Crowe can also answer questions about the cultural significance of the masks.
Born in Tennessee, Virgil Crowe moved to the Bigwitch Community on Qualla Boundary when he was seven years old. After high school, he served in the U.S. Navy for four years. Trained as a survey technician, Virgil Crowe has worked for the federal government for thirty-one years. He now works with the Bureau of Indian Affairs Realty Branch in Cherokee.
While attending high school, Virgil Crowe studied woodcarving with Amanda Crowe. He first carved cars and trucks to play with, and eventually turned to animals, birds, and figurines. He began carving masks in the mid 1980s after researching their use and significance by talking to elder mask makers. The work of renowned Cherokee mask maker Sim Jessan, especially Jessan’s snake mask, inspired him.
Virgil Crowe has demonstrated mask making at the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh, the Giduwah Festival in Asheville, the Singing River Festival in Alabama, and at other festivals. He is a member of the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, which receives constant requests for his work.
Virgil Crowe is available on weekends and holidays for events within a one-day drive of Cherokee. Call to determine his fee, which must include travel expenses.