Photo courtesy of Rhonda Gouge.
Types of Artistry
Cherokee, NC (Qualla Boundary)
Louise Goings makes Cherokee white oak baskets. She begins by searching out a white oak tree, which she transforms into a beautiful, sturdy basket. Often, she gathers her own materials—using bloodroot, the leaves of walnut trees, and hulls from nut—to dye her oak splints weaving. She can discuss this process and demonstrate basketweaving.
Louise Goings was born in 1947 and grew up on Goose Creek in the Birdtown Community. She attended Birdtown Day School until sixth grade, and then Cherokee High School. She has worked for twenty-eight years at Cherokee Elementary School as a teaching assistant. When she was ten years old, Louise learned to make a few baskets by watching her mother, Emma Taylor. These she sold for pocket money. After the birth of her son Eddie, she began to make baskets again in earnest and to travel—first with her mother, and then on her own—to demonstrate basketry.
A member of the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual since the late 1960s, Louise Goings has demonstrated basketry with her mother at the Festival of American Folk-life at the Smithsonian Institution and at the Natural History Museum of the Smithsonian. She and her husband George returned to Washington, D.C., in 1992 for President Clinton's inaugural celebration honoring the crafts people of the South. Her baskets have won prizes at the Cherokee Fall Fair and at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, and elsewhere. She has demonstrated basket making in many schools, at the Mountain Heritage Day festival, at the Cherokee Voices Festival, at Warren Wilson College, and in hands on workshops for children at Western Carolina University.
Louise Goings enjoys demonstrating basketry for people of all ages, and will bring her own materials. If a hands-on workshop is desired, children need to be about 10 years old to be able to actually weave a basket. Although Louise Goings is available year-round, she has the most time to travel during summer months when school is not in session. Call to determine her fee.