Valley Rewind: Cherokee basket weaving

Special to Black Mountain News
Cherokee basket weaver Lottie Stamper weaves a river cane basket in the 1960s.

In this 1960s photograph from the Swannanoa Valley Museum's Edward L. DuPuy Collection, Cherokee basket weaver Lottie Stamper weaves a river cane basket. Stamper (1907-1987) was a highly influential and innovative basket weaver. Born in 1907 on the Qualla Boundary, she first learned the craft of basket weaving from her mother, who wove using pine needles. As an adult, Stamper married into a basket weaving family, began working with river cane and learned to use native plants to dye basket splints. Stamper taught classes from 1937 until 1966, exposing hundreds of girls to the basketry tradition. The museum is now hosting the exhibit "River Cane Renaissance," which features this photograph alongside other photographs of 20th century Cherokee basket weavers. Stop by Wednesday through Saturday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. to take a look! The event is free with a suggested donation of $5.