Cherokees, like many other Native Americans, have a much broader definition of what is art and what is an artist, than most European concepts. We think everything deserves to be beautiful, whether that means creating it for the purpose of aesthetic and intellectual wonder or taking something every day and making it amazing. Take baskets for example. Cherokee baskets are renowned for their complexity and intricate beauty. Long before there was a market for the baskets, Cherokee basket makers were making them sturdy, complex in construction and intricate in design. They weren’t making them for sale, but to use. But just because they were for use, didn’t mean they couldn’t be works of art. This same idea can be seen in the curve of a wooden bow, the colors on a child’s toy or the stitching of a medicine bag.

At Cherokee Images we have sought out Cherokee artists and craftspeople who continue this Cherokee tradition and we think we’ve found them. Our desire is to engage these individuals and families, and through a fair wage system, bring their skills together into products available to the public. Our only stipulation is that the products, even if using modern materials, be steeped in Cherokee tradition in design, form or function. In short, they must promote the Cherokee spirit. We see it as envisioning traditional Cherokee culture for a modern world. An unexpected but welcomed side benefit, has been the resurgence of traditional Cherokee culture in some communities, thank to having an outlet for their creativity and hard work.

Meet Some of Our Artists and Craftspeople

Anita's BasketsAnita can only be described as a success story. Two years ago she’d never made a basket but had watched others make them. She expressed a desire to learn and knowing she had an outlet for her creativity, Cherokee Images, she took the leap to try. Today she is making some of the most beautiful, colorful baskets we’ve ever seen anywhere in the Cherokee Nation. She has been recognized in her community for her accomplishments and recently started teaching others.

Wood Buffalo Pull ToyMichael is a carpenter by trade. Originally he was approached to make small wooden boxes for salt boxes. It was mentioned that we were looking for someone who could make small wooden toys in the Cherokee tradition. He quickly said, “I can do that.” He hasn’t disappointed. He creates wooden pull toys in the shapes of jumping rabbits, smiling turtles, two-man canoes and jumping fish, just to name a few. Each toy is cut and sanded by hand with a traditional Cherokee story in mind.for

Artist Dan's HandsDan works with leather. He carves on it, stamps on it, stitches on it and paints on it to create some of the most unique, one-of-a-kind leather items we’ve seen. He makes fob keychains, leather cuff bracelets, hat bands and, if we ask kindly, belts. All of his pieces are handmade and reflect the design spirit of the Cherokee Nation, embellished with the Cherokee seven pointed star, basket weave patterns, feathers and four direction crosses.

Join Our Team

If you are a Cherokee artist or craftsperson and want to sell your work, please contact us. We’re always looking for authentic Cherokee inspired designs. If your works are Cherokee in spirit and inspiration, well made and unique in design, we’d love to take a look. Send us some photos of your work along with proof of Cherokee citizenship. We only sell authentic Cherokee made, designed or inspired items.