Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy presents Cherokee artisan, James W. Long, who will demonstrate traditional river cane weaving and dying techniques, Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 2:00pm at the Fletcher Community Park. After the presentation, CMLC will lead a guided tour of the Cane Creek greenway highlighting recent projects that improve water quality and wildlife habitat along Cane Creek. This is a FREE event and open to the public.
Long will use river cane and dyes he has gathered himself from natural sources to demonstrate how artisans split and weave river cane and use native plants and roots to create the rich browns and oranges of baskets and mats. The guided tour will showcase river cane growing in its natural habitat and focus on CMLC’s work to restore this once-abundant plant to the banks of Cane Creek.
In addition to its cultural uses, river cane provides habitat for wildlife and prevents erosion. In partnership with the Town of Fletcher, CMLC volunteers and staff are replanting river cane and removing competing non-native plant species at the greenway.
Long, a member of the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, began learning the art of basket weaving from his parents at the age of 11. He soon mastered other crafts as a way of continuing cultural traditions. He said it has become harder to find the quality natural materials he needs for his artwork and he is always excited about the opportunity to share his craft with others. Long’s work will be available for sale at the event.
The demonstration and tour will highlight the important relationship between culture and nature and will appeal to anyone with an interest in history, art, or the environment. All are invited to attend this free event sponsored by the Community Foundation of Henderson County.