Weaving New Worlds: Southeastern Cherokee Women and Their Basketry

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University of North Carolina Press, 1997 - Crafts & Hobbies - 414 pages
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In this innovative study, Sarah Hill illuminates the history of Southeastern Cherokee women by examining changes in their basketry. Based in tradition and made from locally gathered materials, baskets evoke the lives and landscapes of their makers. Incorporating written, woven, and spoken records, Hill demonstrates that changes in Cherokee basketry signal important transformations in Cherokee culture. Over the course of three centuries, Cherokees developed four major basketry traditions, each based on a different material - rivercane, white oak, honeysuckle, and maple. Hill traces how the incorporation of each new material occurred in the context of lived experience, ecological processes, social conditions, economic circumstances, and historical eras. She demonstrates that while the inclusion of new materials from the time of the Cherokee removal into the present day testifies to deep levels of social and ecological change, the retention of old materials suggests the persistence of certain values, customs, and concepts in Cherokee life. Drawing on such diverse sources as Cherokee myths, government documents, museum collections, store records, interviews with contemporary Cherokee weavers, and firsthand accounts by travelers, traders, and missionaries, Hill presents Cherokee women as shapers and subjects of change.

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Weaving new worlds: Southeastern Cherokee women and their basketry

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Far more than a survey of Eastern Cherokee women basketmakers, this is an in-depth study of tribal women's history, the ecological and social obstacles facing weavers and other artisans, and the ... Read full review

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About the author (1997)

Sarah H. Hill is an independent scholar who lives in Atlanta. A native of Georgia, she received her Ph.D. in American studies from Emory University.

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