Noteworthy News

Mountain Heritage Center craft series to feature basketmaker Junaluska

Faye Junaluska will demonstrate the craft of creating white oak baskets on Thursday, April 14, and offer a workshop for participants who would like to weave a basket of their own on Sunday, April 17, at Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center.

The first of the two hands-on programs in the Appalachian Living series featuring Cherokee basket weaving will begin at 3 p.m. April 14 in the center’s gallery at 161 Hunter Library on the campus.

A white oak basket created by Emma Taylor, mother of Faye Junaluska. Photo from the WCU Digital Archive "Cherokee Traditions."

A white oak basket created by Emma Taylor, mother of Faye Junaluska. Photo from the WCU Digital Archive “Cherokee Traditions.”

The demonstration program and is free and open to the public, continuing until 5 p.m. The workshop program on April 17 will be offered from 2 to 5 p.m., and there is a cost to participants of $70.

To sign up for the workshop, call 828-227-7129. The event, part of a series of hands-on programs at the center celebrating crafts in Southern Appalachia this spring, is sponsored in part by Dogwood Crafters of Dillsboro.

Faye Junaluska is a longtime basket weaver,” said Peter Koch, education specialist at the center. “Several generations of her family have been involved with this craft for many years. Her mother was the renowned basket weaver Emma Taylor. Faye’s sister, Louise Goings, and her nephew, George Edward Goings, have also followed in Taylor’s footsteps.”

Koch said that, like others in her family, Junaluska works with many different materials and specializes in white oak baskets. “Using splints cut from white oak saplings and a variety of natural dyes, she creates baskets of varying sizes and designs,” he said.

Junaluska is a member and an employee of Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual in Cherokee, and has demonstrated with her mother and sister at many festivals and locations in North Carolina. Her work has been featured at the Asheville Art Museum.

The Appalachian Living series will continue with two more programs this spring. Erin Tapley, associate professor of art and design at WCU, will involve audience members in natural dyeing on Thursday, April 21. Jeff Gottlieb, a naturalist and outdoor educator, will offer a workshop on creating poplar bark baskets on Thursday, May 26.

For more information about these and other programs, contact the Mountain Heritage Center at 828-227-7129 or at

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Photos | WCU News Services

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