Southern Appalachian Digital Collections

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Baskets: white oak, purse

  • wcu_craft_revival-6225.jpg
  • This undated photograph was made by the Indian Arts and Crafts Board and shows white oak purse baskets that were made by Carol Welch. These baskets utilize techniques and patterns usually associated with rivercane. The patterns are, left to right, Man in a Coffin, Unbroken Friendship, and Peace Pipe. Carol Smith Welch was the daughter of Helen Bradley Smith, an accomplished Cherokee basket weaver. Her aunt, Eva Bradley, was also a basket weaver. Born in 1940, Welch learned to weave white oak baskets by watching her mother and later learned to weave rivercane and honeysuckle baskets from Lottie Stamper in school basketry classes. While at school, she also learned the double weave method of making rivercane baskets and, later, became Lottie Stamper’s assistant. Her husband, Davis Welch, is a master mask maker. Welch lives in the Big Cove Community of the Qualla Indian Boundary, North Carolina.