How to Make Cherokee Crafts


The Cherokee people are a Native American tribe whose territories originally included southwest Virginia, western North Carolina, northeast Alabama, north Georgia, east Tennessee and South Carolina. Their language had three main dialects based on region. The Cherokee nation now mainly resides in Oklahoma, a result of the 1830 Indian Removal Act signed by President Andrew Jackson evicting Cherokees to this region. Teach children about Cherokee history while making assorted Cherokee crafts, such as woven baskets and animal masks.

Things You'll Need

  • Brown craft foam
  • Hot glue gun
  • Raffia
  • Large safety pin
  • Note card
  • Bear image
  • Card stock
  • Ribbon or yarn

Woven Basket

  • Snip triangular shapes all the way around a medium-sized circular piece of brown craft foam. Do not cut the triangles out, rather you are simply making slits in the material and folding them up.

  • Glue a piece of raffia with a low temperature glue gun to a section of the circle and weave the raffia in and out of the slits you have just made. Repeat the step with a second strand of raffia and a third if necessary. Use dabs of hot glue to secure the raffia as you work your way around the circle.

  • Make a card for the basket with any information you would like to include and use a large safety pin to attach the card to the basket.

Bear Mask

  • Trace or print an image of a bear face. Cut the eyes and mouth out of the image. Trace the image, including the cutouts, onto a piece of card stock.

  • Glue the card stock backing to the image. Allow to dry.

  • Use a hole punch to make holes on either side of the mask. String a piece of ribbon or yarn through each side of the mask. Use pieces of ribbon that are long enough to be brought together and secured snugly on the back of the head.

Tips & Warnings

  • Additional ideas for Cherokee Indian crafts include clay pots, which can be decorated by cutting lines into the pot's surface with your fingernails, a pencil or a stick.

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  • Photo Credit Thomas Northcut/Lifesize/Getty Images
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