Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle on Shan Goshorn’s Home Land:
—Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle, author, historian, educator
This project has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Major funding for the Asheville Art Museum’s Collection project provided by the Henry Luce Foundation.
Video assembled by Shira Zaid, winter 2021 communications – multimedia storytelling intern
In this basket by Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians artist Shan Goshorn (Baltimore, MD 1957–2018 Tulsa, OK), the single-weave technique, detachable lid, and cross-on-a-hill pattern are elements drawn from the Cherokee culture’s long history of craftsmanship. Goshorn expands on tradition with her contemporary mixed-media approach, weaving with bright colors, photographic images, and strips of text on watercolor paper. The text references spring 1838, when the Cherokee people, overwhelmingly opposed to the US government’s plan of removal, planted corn and prepared as usual for their fall harvest. The basket recalls the tragic months to follow when over 16,000 Cherokee people were forcibly removed from their homes and marched to Oklahoma along the Trail of Tears. Goshorn interweaves historical documents, Cherokee medicine stories, and photographs of the Kituwah Mound near Bryson City, NC, as a way to express the Cherokee people’s enduring connection to their ancestral homeland.
—Carolyn Grosch, Curator of Collections at Western Carolina University Fine Art Museum