photo: Rob Amberg
Featured Artist: Emma Taylor
Emma Taylor was widely recognized as an especially gifted and productive basketmaker in the tradition of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Born in 1920, Mrs. Taylor grew up in the Birdtown community of the Qualla Indian Boundary. By the age of 7, she had learned to imitate her mother's basketry skills by working with discarded oak splints from finished baskets. Later, while attending the Cherokee school, she received more formal training in this ancient art from master basketweaver Lottie Stamper. By the time she was a young woman, Emma could produce sturdy baskets of white oak, honeysuckle, or rivercane. After her marriage to Timpson Taylor, she began making baskets for sale. She continued to do this for income while raising her eight children.