http://www.cherokeephoenix.orgThe seven Cherokee clans are represented on the back of a guitar decorated by Cherokee artist Verna Bates. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
The seven Cherokee clans are represented on the back of a guitar decorated by Cherokee artist Verna Bates. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Cherokees create artwork using guitars

Cherokee gourd artist Verna Bates shows off her entry for a guitar project at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Cherokee gourd artist Verna Bates shows off her entry for a guitar project at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Cherokee artist Jeff Edwards uses ancient Southeastern-style designs for his guitar design. The legendary Cherokee serpent Uktena wraps the outer edges of the guitar body. COURTESY PHOTO Brass and nickel accents are a part of a guitar designed by Cherokee artist Roger Cain. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Booger mask maker Roger Cain places a booger made of brass, nickel and copper on the back of the guitar he designed for the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Cherokee artist Karen Berry displays her guitar entry for the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa. The legendary Cherokee serpent Uktena wraps the front of the guitar in Berry’s design. COURTESY PHOTO Artist Roy Boney Jr., shows his guitar design with the legendary Uktena horned serpent. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX The legendary horned serpent Uktena dominates the design created by Cherokee artist Roy Boney. COURTESY PHOTO Cherokee artist Joseph Erb uses an iconography design for a guitar project for the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa. COURTESY PHOTO The horned feather serpent of Cherokee legend Uktena wraps the outer edge of the back of guitar designed by Joseph Erb. COURTESY PHOTO
Cherokee gourd artist Verna Bates shows off her entry for a guitar project at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Assistant Editor – @cp_wchavez
04/17/2012 08:25 AM
Video with default Cherokee Phoenix Frame
CATOOSA, Okla. – Cherokee artist Jeff Edwards recently took on the challenge of transforming an electric guitar into art that will be displayed in the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa.

He is one of 39 Cherokee artists who had until April 10 to finish design work on Epiphone-brand guitars. Edwards, of Sallisaw, said he chose images from the book “Sun Circles and Human Hands,” which includes Southeastern-style designs.

“I thought it would look really cool on a guitar and then recreated and customized them to my liking. Since I don’t paint once the images were completed I sent them to…Inkdt in Cincinnati, which is a company that produces custom guitar skins out of the artwork you submit to fit your make and model of guitar,” he said. “By doing the skin it allowed me to produce exactly what I wanted and then apply it to the guitar.”

He said the guitar skin uses the same concept as “skinning” a laptop or cell phone case.

Edwards said he was inspired by custom guitars used by musicians such as Eddie Van Halen, who have a custom guitar design that is unique to them, and created his own unique custom guitar design.

“The most difficult part of the project was deciding what to use and then laying it out on the guitar. I really enjoyed the whole process from creating the images to applying the skin and putting it all back together and having a finished product,” he said.

Verna Bates, of Locust Grove, said her specialty is gourd art but welcomed the challenge of decorating a guitar.

Recently, she has focused on the seven Cherokee clans when designing her gourd masks and used masks representing the clans in her guitar design. Because the guitars are meant for the renovated Wild Potato Buffet, Bates focused on the Wild Potato clan for the front of the guitar and placed designs for all the clans on the back of the guitar.

Bates said she understands that 39 guitars will be displayed in glass cases along the walls of the buffet. Guitars that don’t match the color scheme of the buffet may be placed in other areas of the casino, she said.

Through a Facebook page for artists, Bates said she has seen other guitars being worked on by artists and that some were “awesome” ideas.

She said artists were asked to use a period from “time immemorial to 1790” when coming up with design ideas. Artist then submitted design sketches to casino officials before being chosen to participate in the project.

Bates said she’s glad she is part of a group of artists who are working on a project to inform the public about Cherokee culture and people.

“I can’t wait to see the whole group of them when they are displayed,” she said. “It’s wonderful to be in that group. It’s good to be included. It makes my heart swell.”

He can work with “about any material he can get a hold of” but artist Roger Cain, of Stilwell, chose copper, brass, nickel and aluminum for his guitar. Traditionally, Cherokee people used copper when designing jewelry and ornaments, but Cain said he wanted to use the other materials so the guitar would have contrasting colors.

Cain’s specialty is making gourd booger masks, which were once used in Cherokee ceremonies to show the unbecoming attributes of a people without embarrassing the culprits or to make fun of the unique characteristics of white people.

He placed a bird design on the front of his guitar and a booger face on the back. All of the metal used made the guitar heavy, he said, but added contrasting qualities.

“It was fun process, especially knowing we could do what we wanted to with it as long as we conveyed a Southeastern theme,” he said.

Cain said he hopes the guitar project will lead to the Cherokee Nation leading the way on a public art project like the one in Cherokee, N.C., where larger-than-life bears were painted by artists and placed throughout the town. He envisions possibly using deer, eagles or even large crawfish for the public art project.

“That’d be something to explore for sure, getting more public art here in Tahlequah if we are really wanting to push the art scene here, which has been really great,” he said.

He said he appreciates Cherokee Casinos funding and pushing the Cherokee art scene to where it is constantly changing and evolving and not static.

Roy Boney Jr., of Tahlequah, chose to focus on the feathered, horned serpent of Cherokee legend called the Uktena for his design. He said his talent is drawing and painting with acrylic paint.

“Getting a guitar to paint was something new, something I’d never done before,” he said. “On the front is the snake itself, mainly the head, coming at you. On the back I’m going to paint the word Uktena in the (Cherokee) syllabary, but it’s going to be splashy, like dirty and messy to go with the idea of hard rock.”

Boney’s design includes a “happy mistake” because the gloss finish he used began to peel when he removed the mask he had put on the front of the guitar to protect it while he painted the back. However, the peeled paint only added to the rough design he hoped to achieve, he said.

“So the idea now is to make the surface of the guitar look like it’s been dinged up a lot by somebody on tour with this guitar,” he said.

Boney played the guitar when he was younger, so taking apart the guitar wasn’t too difficult for him, he said, but taking it apart and making sure he could incorporate his design on it was difficult.

The Uktena also dominates the design of Karen Berry of Garland, Texas. She also usually works with gourds, and as a whole, she said working on the guitar didn’t prove to be much of a challenge for her because she’s used to working with hollow gourds.

“It’s a big gourd really. I’m used to working on something three dimensional like that,” she said. “I enjoyed it and had a lot of fun.”

The Uktena is on the front and back of her guitar, and she used a Cherokee mound builders scroll pattern on the fretwork.

“I didn’t make mine (Uktena) scary looking,” she said.

Designing the scroll pattern on the fret board was the most difficult part of the process, Berry said, because the frets were glued on.

“They actually get closer together down toward the head of the guitar and I didn’t realize that. So I couldn’t really center the scroll on the frets, so that was really difficult. I just kind of had to draw around the frets,” she said.

She said from her observations, it seems every artist with a guitar has done something “completely different.” There are Cherokee painters, graphic artists, sculptors, metal workers, beaders, booger mask makers, basket makers and potters involved in the project.

Graphic artist Joseph Erb’s design is centered on old Cherokee iconography or symbols. He used symbols of old bears, raccoons and flat-style birds and two Uktena horned serpents swirl up on the back of the guitar with their tongues lashing out.

“The movement of the whole piece is actually sectioned and it deals with the old concepts of this world and the next world,” he said. “The Uktenas were in between both worlds.”

He said the front part of his guitar deals with the world now and the design transitions to the design on the back of the guitar.

“It’s a flat design, and I want my piece to be smooth and elegant and clean looking. I want it to have that old-style look, but something that looks highly modern,” he said.

He sent his design to a company to have a skin made for his guitar and then adhered the skin around the guitar.

Erb believes the guitar project will be a “game changer” for the Cherokee art world because artists “really stepped up their game.” He also believes the guitars will be their own attraction among the other Hard Rock attractions.

“It seems in the last five years the artists are starting to come together and talk more, and it seems to really help their work. When you see something cool that someone did, you can’t just turn anything in now. You’ve got to turn something nice in because you just saw three people that blew your mind, and now it’s your turn,” he said.


About the Author
Will lives in Tahlequah, Okla., but calls Marble City, Okla., his hometown. He is Cherokee and San Felipe Pueblo and grew up learning the Cherokee language, traditions and culture from his Cherokee mother and family. He also appreciates his father’s Pueblo culture and when possible attends annual traditional dances held on the San Felipe Reservation near Albuquerque, N.M.

He enjoys studying and writing about Cherokee history and culture and writing stories about Cherokee veterans. For Will, the most enjoyable part of writing for the Cherokee Phoenix is having the opportunity to meet Cherokee people from all walks of life.
He earned a mass communications degree in 1993 from Northeastern State University with minors in marketing and psychology. He is a member of the Native American Journalists Association.

Will has worked in the newspaper and public relations field for 20 years. He has performed public relations work for the Cherokee Nation and has been a reporter and a photographer for the Cherokee Phoenix for more than 18 years. He was named interim executive editor on Dec. 8, 2015, by the Cherokee Phoenix Editorial Board. • 918-207-3961
Will lives in Tahlequah, Okla., but calls Marble City, Okla., his hometown. He is Cherokee and San Felipe Pueblo and grew up learning the Cherokee language, traditions and culture from his Cherokee mother and family. He also appreciates his father’s Pueblo culture and when possible attends annual traditional dances held on the San Felipe Reservation near Albuquerque, N.M. He enjoys studying and writing about Cherokee history and culture and writing stories about Cherokee veterans. For Will, the most enjoyable part of writing for the Cherokee Phoenix is having the opportunity to meet Cherokee people from all walks of life. He earned a mass communications degree in 1993 from Northeastern State University with minors in marketing and psychology. He is a member of the Native American Journalists Association. Will has worked in the newspaper and public relations field for 20 years. He has performed public relations work for the Cherokee Nation and has been a reporter and a photographer for the Cherokee Phoenix for more than 18 years. He was named interim executive editor on Dec. 8, 2015, by the Cherokee Phoenix Editorial Board.


02/16/2018 08:00 AM
ST. LOUIS (AP) – Kathy Dickerson worries about the future of the Kiowa culture. Dickerson is a St. Louis artist and citizen of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma. She said she does bead work, some silversmithing and brain tanning, where she takes the brain of an animal and uses it to tan the hide. Each tribe’s crafts are a part of its identity, she said. The Kiowa moccasins she makes are different from those made by other tribes, even neighboring tribes. Her work isn’t creative, she said, she’s reproducing art from Kiowa tradition. “We still do things that our ancestors did, and I’m still teaching my grandchildren what I was taught,” Dickerson said. People who are not part of federally recognized American Indian tribes fabricate their artwork and their history, she said. They fool people who don’t know much about American Indians, skewing their understanding of tribes. She said the problem is apparent in St. Louis, where non-Native people are brought in to give cultural presentations at community festivals. “They get the person that has dreamcatchers and tom-toms,” Dickerson said. “Things that are China-made and look like stereotypical American Indian stuff. These non-Natives that are not in a community, they don’t understand what Indians are.” The Missouri House Special Committee on Small Business has unanimously approved a bill that would ban people who are not citizens of federally recognized American Indian tribes from selling their arts and crafts as authentic American Indian work. Under federal law, members of state- and federally recognized tribes can sell their work as authentic. Chief Grey Elk of the Northern Cherokee Nation said all the work of their tribe is “authentic dating back to antiquity,” and the tribe’s artisans follow styles and patterns passed down through generations. “All we do is reproduce that,” he said. Grey Elk said the proposed legislation grew out of the animosity between the Northern Cherokee and the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma, a federally recognized tribe. The CN has long disputed the legitimacy of the Northern Cherokee Nation. “We’ve never got along, and it’s because we call them ‘Treaty Cherokees,’ and they call us ‘Wannabes,’” Grey Elk said. “We refused to sign any treaties, and they signed 50.” The Northern Cherokee Nation is a nonprofit group that states it is an American Indian tribe recognized by the State of Missouri, not the federal government. Then-Gov. Kit Bond issued a proclamation in June 1983, where he acknowledged the existence of the Northern Cherokee Tribe “as an American Indian Tribe within the State of Missouri,” and declared June 24, 1983 “Northern Cherokee Recognition Day.” Some, including Rep. Rocky Miller, the bill’s sponsor and a CN citizen say that proclamation does not make the Northern Cherokee a state-recognized tribe. Missouri has no established process for recognizing state tribes, and a list of state-recognized tribes will vary, depending on who you ask. The Indian Arts and Crafts Board, which enforces federal law regulating the sale of American Indian art, doesn’t keep a current list of state-recognized tribes but was informed in 2014 by the Attorney General’s office that Missouri had no state-recognized tribes. The Attorney General’s office directed the Missourian to the Secretary of State’s office, which provided a list of 11 federally recognized tribes with a presence in Missouri, including the Absentee Shawnee of Oklahoma and the Sac and Fox Nation of Missouri in Kansas and Nebraska. The tribes on the Secretary of State’s list are centered in surrounding states of Kansas, Oklahoma and Nebraska, and used to live on land in what is now Missouri. The Northern Cherokee Nation was not on the list. Grey Elk said he asked Gov. Eric Greitens to check to see if the proclamation is legitimate recognition. Miller, a Lake Ozark Republican, said any move to formally recognize the Northern Cherokee would be “ridiculous.” He said all tribal recognition should come from the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs. CN Assistant Attorney General Alayna Farris testified in support of the bill at a small business committee hearing on Jan. 24. At that hearing, she said the Northern Cherokee Nation and other tribes that are not federally recognized are appropriating authentic Cherokee culture and erode trust in the American Indian art market. Most American Indian art is regulated by the federal Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990, which allows artisans from federally and state-recognized tribes to advertise their work as American Indian-made. That would exclude the Northern Cherokee if they are not state-recognized, but Miller said the law is still necessary to give local law enforcement the ability to prosecute. “It’s just a much quicker and easier way to stop this theft of our heritage,” Miller said. Cases taken on by federal authorities can take a long time, Miller said, like the case of Terry Lee Whetstone, a Missouri man who pleaded guilty to violating the federal law in 2015, several years after he was reported to the Indian Arts and Crafts Board. Whetstone was eventually sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to stop selling his art or playing his flute unless he makes it clear that he is not a member of an American Indian tribe. The bill is similar to one passed in the Oklahoma legislature in 2016. That bill amended Oklahoma’s 1974 Indian Arts and Craft Sales Act to protect artists from federally recognized American Indian tribes. Peggy Fontenot, who is a member of the state-recognized Patawomeck Tribe of Virginia, sued Oklahoma soon after the bill was passed. She is arguing the law infringed on her right to truthfully describe her art as American Indian-made when she sold her art in the state. Oklahoma halted enforcement of the law in January 2017, pending the results of the case. Pre-trial motions have delayed the case in the Western District Court of Oklahoma, so the law is still not being enforced. Grey Elk said he has an antagonistic history with Miller, stemming from a dispute over the proposed placement of a sewage treatment facility at the headwaters of the Blue Springs Creek, which is in Miller’s district. Grey Elk also said he thinks Miller is against the Northern Cherokee because he is a CN citizen. “Rocky, I’m sure, could care less whether we label our stuff we make for powwows ‘Native American made,’” Grey Elk said. “Somebody down there has undoubtedly put a burr in his saddle.” Miller said he didn’t want the treatment plant on that creek, either. He said his issue was with Grey Elk making that land “fake holy ground” in order to stop the plant. “He’s basically a fraud, and he’s stealing my family’s heritage, and the people who join him are doing the same,” Miller said. Miller said he’s pushing the bill because he doesn’t like people who break the law, and he doesn’t like people who take his heritage. His family was forced out of their home and to the Indian Territory in what is now Oklahoma, Miller said. “For someone to come along and make light of that by making fake arts and crafts, it angers me,” he said. Dickerson said that when people don’t know much about American Indians, they’ll gravitate toward people who fit their idea of what an American Indian should be. Much of that is influenced by Hollywood portrayals of American Indians, and isn’t accurate. “When we go out, people ask, ‘Can you glam it up a bit, can you throw a little bit of Hollywood into it?’” Dickerson said. “And it’s like, no, this is what it is. We’re showing you our culture. We don’t want to create something that’s glamorous over what’s real.” Those watered-down and stereotypical perceptions of what an American Indian is take away from unique tribal identities, she said, and people posing as Native Americans do the same. “They copy off of different tribes and they kind of make a hodgepodge of these works that you cant tell who it belongs to,” Dickerson said. “But these non-Natives, they’re taking it and they’re bastardizing the culture because they’re not going by anything but what they feel the American Indian is about.” Grey Elk said the Northern Cherokee’s works aren’t made just to be sold. The group’s website advertises several works, including jewelry and paintings, with contact information for the artists listed, but Grey Elk said they mostly sell at powwows. If someone is interested in a work, they’re happy to sell it and make another. Grey Elk said most American Indian tribes consider the powwow a chance to show off their culture, skills and wares. “And maybe it makes them a little money to boot,” he added.
02/15/2018 12:00 PM
RAPID CITY, S.D. – The First Peoples Fund recently welcomed a new cohort of artist fellows who embody the “Collective Spirit” and whose lives reflect the traditional values at the heart of FPF’s mission - generosity, wisdom, respect, integrity, strength, fortitude and humility. And one of the 15 artists selected to receive the ABL fellowship is writer and Cherokee Nation citizen Traci Sorell of Olathe, Kansas. “I am humbled to receive this fellowship. I hadn’t initially realized all the marketing costs related to the launch of a debut picture book. My friend suggested that I apply for the First Peoples Fund’s Artist in Business Leadership fellowship because it provides training, support and financial resources to artists wanting to grow their business,” Sorell said. “I am so grateful to be selected and look forward to the professional training that First Peoples Fund will provide me and the other fellows when we gather in Santa Fe, New Mexico, next month (March).” Sorell said the fellowship will help her launch an author website and design and print promotional materials for her book “We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga,” which is set for release on Sept. 4. The fellowship also will create a free downloadable curriculum guide for teachers and anyone else to download from Sorell’s website and pay for travel to book-related events. “These costs would be very difficult for me to cover without the fellowship’s help,” she said. “Having this support also allows me to focus my time on writing more books and getting them ready for submission because that’s what is required to grow my business as a children’s book author.” Each year First Peoples offers two fellowship-grant programs for artists: Artist in Business Leadership and Cultural Capital. “We have such a range of mediums,” First Peoples Fund Program Manager Mary Bordeaux (Sicangu Lakota) said. “Everything from Indigenous foods to performing artists. We have artists using traditional techniques in modern ways. I’m excited about working with the artists, seeing them grow, and their projects come to fruition.” Through projects of their design, as well as assistance and training provided by First Peoples Fund, it is hoped the 15 artists selected will develop skills to help them grow a thriving business for themselves and their families. “When an individual artist is uplifted and supported, they impact their families, communities and the benefits can ripple out regionally and nationally. This inspires artists to fully honor their cultural creativity and frees them to embrace their Native identity and voice,” Bordeaux said. “The Artist in Business Leadership fellows are doing work within to stabilize themselves as artists.” Receiving the fellowship goes beyond support for a year or a single project. Artist fellows are brought into the First Peoples Fund family and introduced to a network of artists, market opportunities and have a chance to build relationships while they grow their confidence and ability as artists. Founded in 1995, First Peoples Fund honors and supports the “Collective Spirit” of First Peoples artists and culture bearers and strives to make a difference, pass on ancestral knowledge and extend a hand of generosity. For more information, visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a> or email <a href="mailto:"></a>.
01/30/2018 08:00 AM
TAHLEQUAH – Cherokee Nation citizen Brian Barlow was awarded a $10,000 Dreamstarter grant in 2017 to make a difference in his community. Since then, he’s been working to integrate the Cherokee language into the town’s Walmart. Growing up in the CN capital, Barlow said he’s seen less and less of the Cherokee language being used, especially among the youth. Through language classes in high school and tribal activities such as the CN Youth Council and “Remember the Removal” bicycle ride he said learning the Cherokee language has become important to him. So when he heard about the Dreamstarter grant he knew it would be the perfect opportunity to put forth his vision to engage more youth with the language. His idea was to integrate the language into Tahlequah’s Walmart by translating the produce section into Cherokee and placing Cherokee phonetics, community level phonetics and the syllabary on produce labels. “You can grow up in Tahlequah and not know any Cherokee, and I don’t think that should be acceptable. You should at least know some words,” Barlow said. “So the idea is to revitalize the language by putting it into the grocery store where like grandma can take grandbaby to the grocery store and use it as a teaching tool.” He said using phonetics rather than just the syllabary simplifies it and make words easier to learn. “Syllabary can be confusing if you don’t know how to read it. Syllabary is really cool. Don’t get me wrong. Sequoyah was a genius, but I just don’t think people have time to learn it. So putting the phonetics in would help the learning process,” Barlow said. The Dreamstarter Grant is through Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills’ organization Running Strong for American Indian Youth. Each year, 10 American Indians under the age of 30 are awarded the grant to aid nonprofit projects that will benefit their community’s youth in some way. Since receiving the grant, Barlow has worked with Cherokee language specialists John Ross and Roy Boney Jr. to get Walmart’s year-round produce translated into Cherokee. As of now, he is working with Walmart’s marketing and licensing department to get the produce labels to “code.” If his idea is successful in Tahlequah, Barlow said he hopes to implement the Cherokee language in other Walmarts in other Cherokee communities such as Stilwell and Jay. However, his vision isn’t stopping there. He also said working with a company like Walmart could open opportunities for other Native tribes to put their language in their local Walmart stores. “I think it would help tribal communities across the U.S. Everyone has to eat. We all have to go to the store and get food, so what better way than to the put language where the food is,” he said. Barlow said he hopes to have the Cherokee language on produce labels in Tahlequah’s Walmart by Thanksgiving.
01/22/2018 08:15 AM
TAHLEQUAH – On a cold and windy Jan. 9, Cherokee Nation cultural biologists and Environmental Resources specialists harvested sunchokes, also known as Jerusalem artichokes, at the Heirloom Garden and Native Plant Site on the Tribal Complex. It is believed the sunchoke was a main food source for Cherokee people prior to European contact. “The sunchoke is a very important cultural plant. So that was one of the plants that we really wanted to establish in the Seed Bank and the native plant site. We were lucky enough to be gifted some really nice specimens from the Eastern Band (of Cherokee Indians) several years ago. They brought us three really nice plants. The three plants have really expanded,” Environmental Resources Senior Director Pat Gwin said. Gwin said the sunchoke is able to produce in mass amounts to harvest for the Seed Bank and as a food source. “Sunchoke, it was an important plant for a reason. It grows an extremely large amount of product for the amount of space, time and effort that you put into it,” he said. “We produce lots and lots of seeds every year.” Though the harvest ran a little late this season, Gwin said he expected hundreds to thousands of sunchoke tubers to yield. The plant is commonly harvested in the winter and may have been a winter food source for Cherokee because of its ability to grow in cold weather. Gwin said pre-European contact, the sunchoke was an important food source though it “fell out of favor” after contact. The plant has recently started to rise under the name of Jerusalem artichoke. The sunchoke resembles a sunflower when in full bloom. When harvested, the tuber underneath the ground resembles a potato, or water chestnut, and has similar qualities and textures due to its root structure. “When I have cooked these in the past, I’ve noticed that sort of eating them raw kind of tastes like a raw potato or even kind of like water chestnut. If you cook them, and don’t cook them at a high heat, they’ll kind of keep the texture of a water chestnut. They can mostly be cooked just the way that we would cook a potato,” Feather Smith-Trevino, CN cultural biologist, said. She said sunchokes are not commonly found in a grocery store or produced commercially, possibly because of its inability to “keep” once it is out of the ground. “With the potato, once we gather those, they can be stored for months and months at a time and they won’t go bad. But with Jerusalem artichokes, once they’re pulled out of the ground their usually only good for maybe about another week to two weeks. They don’t keep much longer than that,” Smith-Trevino said. For this year’s Seed Bank, around 88 packages were created for Cherokees to grow and harvest their own sunchoke plants.
01/19/2018 12:30 PM
PARK HILL – Native American youth are invited to participate in the 2018 Cherokee Art Market Youth Competition and Show, scheduled for April 7 through May 5. All artists must be citizens of a federally recognized tribe, in grades 6-12, and are limited to one entry per person. There is no fee to participate in the competition. Entries will be received between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on March 29 at Cherokee Nation Businesses, 950 Main Pkwy., in Tahlequah. All submissions must include an entry form attached to the artwork, an artist agreement form and a copy of the artist’s Certificate Degree of Indian Blood card or tribal citizenship card. Artwork is evaluated by division and grade level. Awards consist Best in Show - $250; first place - $150; second place - $125; third place - $100; Bill Rabbit Art Legacy Award - $100. The Best in Show winner will also receive a free booth at the Cherokee Art Market in October. A reception will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on April 6 at the Cherokee Heritage Center in conjunction with the 47th annual Trail of Tears Art Show. Winning artwork selected from the Cherokee Art Market Youth Competition will remain on display throughout the duration of the Trail of Tears Art Show. Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism is hosting the Cherokee Art Market Youth Competition. Applications are available at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. For more information, call Deborah Fritts at 918-384-6990 or <a href="mailto:"></a>. The CHC is located at 21192 S. Keeler Drive.
Reporter – @cp_bbennett &
Reporter – @cp_sguthrie
01/16/2018 08:30 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Family Research Center located within the Cherokee Heritage Center has been assisting individuals with tracing their family genealogies since the 1980s. “We educate people,” Gene Morris, CFRC genealogist, said. “We’re here to promote our mission, which is preserve, promote and teach Cherokee history and culture. That’s what we do on a daily basis with genealogy.” The CFRC is one of two locations in Oklahoma specializing in Native American genealogy and should not be confused with the Cherokee Nation Registration Department. “We (CFRC) have no right to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ that someone is Cherokee,” Ashley Vann, CFRC genealogist, said. “What we are able to tell them is ‘yes’ or ‘no’ about a paper trail to back up that family’s story that’s been handed down from generation to generation.” Morris and Vann can be hired to help individuals complete their genealogies for a fee of $30 per hour, or $20 per hour for Cherokee National Historical Society members. For those wishing to conduct their own research, the CFRC resources area and the genealogy library are accessible from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday with paid admission into the museum. Before visiting, Norris and Vann recommend gathering as much information as possible from several free and paid websites including <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, <a href="" target="_blank"></a> and <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. The CFRC will also process genealogy requests by mail, but the timeframe in which the request is filled depends on demand. “Depending upon how many folks are back here in the library at one time wanting all of our attention all at the same time and depending on if one of us is here or both us are here at that time,” Norris said. “What we try to do is do those requests in the order they are received.” For more information, visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.