The Cherokee Heritage Center in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, has welcomed a very big visitor—a Cherokee basket measuring over eight feet tall. The basket, woven over a four-month period and consisting of more than a mile of reed, exists to promote the Cherokee Baskets: History Woven in Art exhibition, which opened a few days ago and runs through August 19.
The weavers were Cherokee National Treasure Rachel Dew and Donnay Leach of Tahlequah. “Baskets have always been an important part of our Cherokee culture,” said Dew, in a statement released by the Heritage Center. “My ancestors were renowned for their basketry skills and I’m just doing my part to keep that part of the culture alive.”
Leach added, “My ancestors were excellent in basketry skills and that inspired me to do the same. I am just trying to make them proud.”
The basket, the base of which has a diameter of 45 inches, features three Cherokee designs, and was woven using an over two, under two weaving method.