Want to learn about the art of Cherokee Indian Basket weaving? Read on to discover the dyes and styles of the Cherokee Indian Baskets available today…
The craft of Cherokee Indian Basket weaving has been sustained from ancient times into modern-day tradition. The basic materials utilized by these native Indians to create the baskets are white oak, cane, the bark of the hickory tree as well as honeysuckle. Previously materials like bloodroot and black walnut were utilized to create the dye pigment which was used to color the baskets. However in order to get different colors like orange and yellow there is an increased use of broom sedge and yellow root. Butternut has traditionally been utilized for black color.
These baskets were utilized by the Cherokee Indians as storage devices. Apart from this you could even create strainers and use them for hunting and fishing trips. This made them very popular and high utility items. Of the traditional weaving techniques, the double wall style is the most popular and is created out of commercially made reed or naturally available honey suckle.
Inspiration for Design and Structure of the Cherokee Indian Basket
Traditionally plant dyes available naturally are utilized to color the baskets but these have become increasingly rare and therefore it’s harder to find them. An interesting fact about the Cherokee Indian basket weaving art is that the weaver does not have any design or pattern which is followed to create a basket. Instead they utilize memory and imagination to create unique works of art. Every aspect of the native Indian art involves working from the soul and imparting positive energy into the product created. This means that the inspiration for these baskets can come from nature and the mountains or the forest and water bodies along with traditional elements common to a particular tribe.
One thing is common about the Cherokee basket which is that each of them is woven by hand. The shape of the basket is dependent on what purpose it will be utilized for. For example if you want something for fishing, then it will have a lid and wider handles and a strap for ease of use. Conversely if you want to use it to store clothing then it will probably be a tall basket with a separate cover on top.
The traditional Cherokee Indian basket was simplistic and functional. Some of them were flat woven storage containers and also designed intricately to function as a purse for native Indian ladies. However, with a limited availability of the natural colors and pigmentation along with the replacement of traditional baskets with plastic and ceramic containers, their utility in the house has diminished over time. The women who now weave traditional Cherokee Indian baskets make them very colorful and present them as pieces of art for modern-day connoisseurs.
To find traditional and authentic native Indian baskets is quite a tedious task. As most of them available today are made out of commercially manufactured reed instead of natural materials utilized earlier. However, there are certain collectors still promoting the ancient art of Cherokee Indian basket weaving and you can locate authentic pieces to support native Indians and allow this art to flourish.