Basket weaving is one of the oldest-known Native American crafts, and Cherokee double-woven baskets are the oldest form of basketry in the Southeast. Before the Cherokee removal in the mid-nineteenth century, basket weaving was an integral part of the women’s role in the tribe. Baskets were used to hold corn, squash, beans, and other food crops.
Each clan had distinct basket patterns which were woven in honor of “Ka no he lv hi,” the old ways. The names of their designs — Mountain Peaks, Peace Pipe, Flowing Water —e voke the essence of Cherokee culture in the North Carolina mountains.
Cherokee baskets are crafted traditionally from bundled pine needles, rivercane, white oak, or honeysuckle. Dyes are made from a variety of plants, including butternut, walnut, bloodroot, and yellowroot.