The Evolution of Cherokee Arts and Crafts
Tonya E. Carroll will talk about the evolution of Cherokee arts and crafts and the history of Qualla arts and crafts in conjunction with the Ramsey Center’s display of Qualla Arts & Crafts Mutual: Tradition & Innovation (on loan from Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center). Qualla Arts & Crafts Mutual, Inc., was founded in Cherokee, NC, in 1946, and is the oldest Native American artists’ cooperative in the United States. The legendary artistry, design, and durability of Cherokee crafts is admired throughout the world and Qualla has played a key role in keeping those traditions alive while encouraging experimentation and innovation.
Tonya E. Carroll was born and raised in Cherokee, North Carolina. She studied American History and Cherokee Studies at Western Carolina University where she earned her master’s degree in Public History. In 2011, she graduated from the Duyukdvi Right Path Adult Leadership Program. In 2016, her passion for her community and Cherokee history and culture made becoming the Department Manager of the Ray Kinsland Leadership Institute a natural fit. There she works with several leadership programs and specialists in order to create a generation of life-long selfless leaders deeply rooted in Cherokee history and culture. In 2017, she was selected to participant in the North Carolina Native Leadership Institute program for 2017-2019. She serves on various boards including Cherokee Talents, Inc., Cherokee Boys Club, and the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. She resides in the Birdtown Community on the Qualla Boundary in Cherokee, North Carolina with Bear Allison and their dog, Prince.
Appalachian Evenings are free of charge and all are welcome. The event will be held in the Ramsey Center, which is located inside Renfro Library on the campus of Mars Hill University.
Photo Credit: “Maude Welch — Making Cherokee Indian Pottery — Cherokee, N.C.” in Durwood Barbour Collection of North Carolina Postcards (P077), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, Wilson Library, UNC-Chapel Hill