The Traditional Arts and Crafts of the Cherokee
For untold centuries, Cherokee artists have turned natural materials such as river cane, clay, wood, and stone into beautiful works of art. Basketry, pottery, stone carving, wood carving, bead working, finger weaving, and traditional masks are a few of the timeless forms of Cherokee art that endure today.
Each piece of authentic Cherokee artwork comes from traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation. The culture, history, and sacred traditions of the Cherokee all come alive in the art that can be found in Cherokee, North Carolina.
When you come to Cherokee, you will have many opportunities to meet Cherokee artists, and perhaps even watch as they work.
Visit Cherokee’s Oconaluftee Indian Village to see how Cherokee artists worked and lived in the 18th Century. Watch as village artisans make traditional Cherokee arts and crafts such as pottery, masks, double-woven baskets, and beadwork.
At Qualla Arts & Crafts Mutual, you can meet some of the living masters of Cherokee art. This historic cooperative has been preserving and promoting Cherokee art and showcasing the talents of Cherokee artists since 1946. Visit this beautiful gallery store to meet artists and shop for authentic Cherokee handcrafts.
Shop for crafts and artworks directly from the Cherokee artisans who made them at the Islands Park Art Market. This open air market is open every day in beautiful Cherokee Island Park.
Cherokee Arts Festivals
Come to one of the many local festivals that celebrate Cherokee art and other cultural traditions such as dance, storytelling, and music.
- Open Air Indian Art Market
- Cherokee Indian Fair
- Cherokee Voices Festival
Search our calendar of events to plan your visit to a Cherokee arts festival.
The Bears of Cherokee
You are guaranteed to see bears in downtown Cherokee. The Bears Project is a public art installation that showcases the talents of local artists. The bear is a symbol of strength that has been important in Cherokee culture since before the days of recorded history. Take a walking tour of downtown Cherokee to discover all of the unique bears that have been painted by local artists. Each bear tells a different story from Cherokee life and culture.
Watch the History of Cherokee Art Come Alive
If you are interested in learning more about the history of Cherokee art, visit the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. Artifacts housed in the museum chart the development of Cherokee artistic traditions while bringing the history, culture, and stories of the Cherokee people to life.