HAYESVILLE – Sponsored by Clay County Communities Revitalization Association, the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation and the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, the second annual Cherokee Heritage Festival will be held at the Cherokee Homestead Exhibit on Saturday, Oct. 20 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. The Exhibit is located next to the Clay County Historical & Arts Museum in Hayesville, North Carolina. Demonstrations and presentations by well-known artisans, historians and storytellers will be scheduled throughout the day. Many crowd favorites will be returning to the festival this year.
Davy Arch, an EBCI tribal member, will demonstrate flint knapping and mask making skills. Arch is an accomplished Cherokee artisan and historian. He has served on the boards of the North Carolina Arts Council and the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual. Arch is employed at the Oconaluftee Indian Village in Cherokee and served as a consultant for the Cherokee Homestead Exhibit.
Cherokee County – Snowbird Rep. Diamond Brown will share his people’s culture through storytelling. He has traveled all over the United States teaching and sharing his knowledge since 1992 with his program called Touch the Earth with Native People.
Emmaline “Emma” Garrett, an EBCI tribal member is one of the few Cherokee basket weavers who continue to make rivercane baskets. She collects the rivercane and uses natural dyes of walnut and bloodroot. Garrett learned to make baskets by watching her grandmother, then made them on her own, later teaching the skill to others.
Clay County resident Darry Wood will be demonstrating dart making and blow gun techniques. Wood is the founder of Earthskills Rendezvous, a program dedicated to teaching the nature lore and like-skills of Native peoples. Wood’s life-size basket weaver, debuted at last year’s festival, is on permanent display in the Clay County Historical & Arts Museum.
T.J. Holland, director of the Junaluska Museum in Robbinsville and EBCI tribal member, will present information about the Cherokee Valley Town Settlements. Holland’s presentation is being sponsored by the Hiwassee-Valley Land Trust and the Junaluska Museum.
Lamar Marshall, Cultural Heritage Director of Wild South, is a board of director for the Alabama Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association and active member of the North Carolina Chapter. Utilizing his background in engineering and surveying, he researched and mapped over 200 miles of Cherokee roads. These roads have been added to the National Historic Trail System by the National Park Service. Marshall will be sharing his research on the Cherokee Trading Trails at the Heritage Festival.
Presenting information about Native American trail trees will be Don Wells, author of Mystery of the Trees. The trees were also used to point to water, shelter and stream crossings. Wells documented trail trees in Clay County and is currently documenting trail trees in the Qualla Boundary.
– Cherokee Homestead Museum