Child's Market Basket Vintage CHEROKEE Woven by Mattie Panther
This vintage child's market basket was woven by Mattie Panther, a member of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee in North Carolina. Mattie used white oak splints, some of which she colored with walnut and blood root dyes. The basket has an oval wrapped rim, a rectangular bottom and a nicely made white oak handle that meets with two interlocking tongues on the bottom.
The basket has a paper tag tied onto the handle with seals and certifications from both the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, Inc., and the Indian Arts and Crafts Board of the U.S. Department of Interior (please see information on both of these below). The handwriting on the tag identifies the weaver as Mattie Panther and gives information on the basket itself.
There is an additional paper card that was in the bottom of the basket when it was found that has information on both sides about the Qualla Co-op (as it's known informally). We used this tag, shown in our photos, to date the basket.
This small Cherokee basket measures 6 3/4 inches long, 4 1/4 inches front to back and stands 6 1/2 inches tall including the handle. It weighs all of two ounces and is in excellent condition, with no breaks, stains or other damage and no wear that we could find. It must have been stored away all these years. This Cherokee basket is a rare and wonderful find for the serious collector.
*The Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, Inc., was founded in 1946; the organization rented a storefront on U.S. Highway 441 in Cherokee, North Carolina, shortly afterward. In 1960, they moved to their present location at 645 Tsali Boulevard. This basket predates that move and was made in the 1950's.
**The Indian Arts and Crafts Board was established by Congress in 1935 to expand Indian-made products and ensure they are marketed truthfully.