Cherokee Registry

Art and Craft

Cherokee carved bone, stone and wood into objects of art. They had a lively trade with the Seminoles and other coastal tribes for sea shells, particularly Conch shells and Clam shells. They carved beautiful breast-plates (gorgets) from the wall of the Conch and Clam shells. Earrings made of Sand Dollars and Scallop shells were common. Necklaces were made of carved bone and wooden beads. Some artists specialized in stone carvings of clan animal figurines used on Ceremonial Pipes and round stone balls used in a game called Marbles.

Cherokee women made beautiful Baskets from river reeds. Some were rigid for food gathering and storage, some were flexible for use as warrior’s packs. Some of the baskets were made water-tight and used directly on the fire for cooking, or by dropping hot stones into the basket to make tea or soup. Bowls were made from river clay and baked in an open fire. They were made from contrasting layers and deeply incised to show the contrasting colors. Others were stamped with designs carved on ‘stamping boards’ made of wood and bone. Corn was roasted in the husk, pounded or ground to a powder for bread and other dishes. Whiskey and other ‘strong drink’ were unknown until the Scotsmen arrived in the early 1700’s.