These artist help preserve and perpetuate Cherokee life, values, and art by being educators, advisors, and supporters of Cherokee art to ensure that both art and skill are not lost.
The Cherokee National Treasure award has currently been bestowed to ninety-four artisans since its inception in 1988 by the Cherokee Nation and the Cherokee National Historic Society.
In the pages of this book you will find stories as told by the artist themselves, family, and friends that help not only showcase their craft, but also their inspirations. You’ll see basketry, pottery, weavings, woodwork, and more.
More than 60 Cherokee National Treasures gathered recently for a dinner to celebrate the book release of “Cherokee National Treasures in Their Own Words.”
“Cherokee National Treasures in Their Own Words” gives readers an exclusive opportunity to get to know each Cherokee National Treasure through their own stories, and also what motivates them to teach and carry on Cherokee language and traditions.
The Cherokee National Treasure award was established in 1988 by the tribe and Cherokee National Historical Society. To date, the tribe has awarded 94 Cherokee Nation citizens the honor of Cherokee National Treasure to those who have shown exceptional knowledge of Cherokee art and culture. Those selected actively work to preserve and revive traditional cultural practices that are in danger of being lost from generation to generation.
As part of the book release celebration, each living Cherokee National Treasure and the family of Cherokee National Treasures who have since passed were presented a first edition copy of the book from Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden during a dinner April 13 at Sequoyah High School gym.
“This book is truly unique and offers readers a firsthand look at Cherokee heritage. All of these Treasures are invaluable sources of knowledge. Their creative expertise helps define our people today and ensures our tribal culture remains strong for the future,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker.