Spotlight Series: Rivercane Resurgence
July 22 - October 22, 2017
On view at Asheville Art Museum On the Slope (175 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville 28801)
Cherokee basketmakers have longstanding relationships to rivercane—a tall, stalky cousin of bamboo. The Museum’s Collection includes baskets composed of rivercane, white oak, honeysuckle and plant-based dyes such as butternut, yellow root and walnut.
Rivercane’s deep root system prevents soil erosion and supports native biological diversity. Rivercane was once abundant along riverbanks from Texas to New York. The arrival of colonial settlement, industry and mass agriculture contributed to dwindling rivercane resources, and imperiled both Southeast ecologies and Cherokee basketry traditions.
This installation from the Museum’s Collection explores four baskets, one tray, and other materials as well as recent initiatives to spread traditional basketry knowledge and to reestablish rivercane stands in Cherokee lands.