Homestead Exhibit to host Cherokee Heritage Workshop

by Mar 31, 2011Front Page, NEWS ka-no-he-da0 comments


     HAYESVILLE – The Cherokee Homestead Exhibit in Hayesville will host a workshop in traditional Cherokee heritage and culture on Saturday, April 16 from 10am – 3pm.  Participants will include students from Western Carolina Univ. and Warren Wilson College, under the direction of Dr. Jane Eastman, WNC Dept. Of sociology and Anthropology and Dr. David Moore, WCC Dept. of Anthropology.

     Instructors will include Davy Arch, EBCI artist and historian, Darry Wood, founder of Earthskills Rendezvous, and members of Western North Carolina Gourd Patch Guild.

     Arch is an accomplished Cherokee artisan and culturalist. His craft expertise covers carving, traditional Cherokee pottery and basketry, and flint knapping. His work is exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution and The Museum of the Cherokee Indian. He demonstrated Cherokee tradition and craft at Euro Disney and was involved in creating a Cherokee heritage and culture program for schools in Germany. Arch is assistant manager at the Oconaluftee Indian Village in Cherokee.

     He is considered one of the go to people if you need to talk about Cherokee traditions and has served as a primary consultant on the Cherokee Homestead Exhibit and has assisted in artistic design and is at present creating a sculpture for the exhibit.

     Wood is an amateur ethnologist and historian, member of the Society of Primitive Technology and Founder of Earthskills Rendezvous, a continuing program dedicated to teaching the nature lore and life-skills o Native peoples.

     As a professional craftsman, much of his career has focused on creating reproductions of historic artifacts and clothing of the Southeastern Indian tribes.                

     Wood’s work may be found in the North Carolina Museum of History, Museum of the Cherokee Indian, the Georgia Capital Museum, Ah-Tha-Thi-Ki (Seminole Tribe Museum ) and others.  For the last three decades he has been involved in community affairs and traditional dances of the Eastern Cherokees and is currently teaching a class in old-style moccasin making at the Cherokee High School.

     Workshops with WCU and WCC will include flint knapping and the use of gourds in traditional Cherokee mask making with Arch while Wood will demonstrate cording techniques, fire making and blow gun and darts. The Gourd Patch will use gourds to construct traditional utilitarian objects. An open firing of traditional coil method pottery, made by the students will also take place during the workshop.

     Dr. Eastman and Dr. Moore have served as consultants and have provided on site assistance in the process of constructing the exhibit.

     Rob Tiger, Clay County Communities Revitalization Association’s  president, will provide overview of the process of developing the Cherokee Homestead Exhibit.

     The workshop is sponsored by CCCRA in partnership with the Clay County Historical and Arts Council. The development and construction of The Cherokee Homestead Exhibit, and related workshops and elementary and middle school education programs, have been made possible through the generous funding of HandMade in America, Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, The Conservation Fund and CNEF, The N.C. Rural Center and STEP, The N.C. Arts Council, The Cherokee Preservation Foundation, Clay County Board of Travel and Tourism, The Town of Hayesville, CCCRA, CCHAC, The Community Foundation of N.C., Design Corp., and a group o dedicated volunteers and consultants too numerous to list here.

Rob is the president of the Clay County Communities Revitalization Association.