Cherokee in Swain County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, Inc.
Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, Inc. was founded in 1946, with the goal of promoting the development, production, and marketing of unique and authentic Cherokee arts and crafts. Known locally as the "co-op," Qualla Arts and Crafts is one of the oldest Native American cooperatives in the United States. Soon after its formation, the organization rented a storefront on Highway 441, a few miles from its present location.
In testimony to the skill of its members, it was juried into the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild in 1949. In 1954, the co-op took its current name, Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, Inc., when it was formally incorporated under the State of North Carolina. In 1960, the co-op moved to its present location and, in 1969, began organizing exhibitions to showcase the work of its members. Basket weaver Eva Wolfe was the first person to have her work exhibited. In 1976 the co-ops building was renovated, adding large windows, native stone, and a new exhibit gallery.
In its earliest days, baskets were the mainstay of the young artisan cooperative, accounting for half its sales. Today, the co-op continues to attract collectors
The North Carolina mountains and foothills were designated the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area in recognition of their natural beauty and living traditions of music, craft, agriculture, and Cherokee culture. This location is part of a regional trail of distinctive heritage sites. Ask for information at area visitor centers.
More information online at: www.blueridgeheritage.com
Erected by Blue Ridge Heritage Trail.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, Music • Industry & Commerce • Native Americans. A significant historical year for this entry is 1946.
Location. 35° 29.11′ N, 83° 18.964′ W. Marker is in Cherokee, North Carolina, in Swain County. Marker is on Drama Road (County Highway 1361) just west of Tsali Boulevard (U.S. 441), on the right when traveling west. Marker is located directly in front of the Qualla Arts and Crafts building, near the sidewalk on the south side of the parking lot. Touch for mapTouch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Paint Clan (within shouting distance of this marker); Sequoyah (within shouting distance of this marker); Museum of the Cherokee Indian (within shouting distance of this marker); Trail of Tears (within shouting distance of this marker); Deer Clan (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Wolf Clan (about 300 feet away); Wild Potato Clan (about 400 feet away); Blue Clan (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cherokee.
Also see . . . Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual. Website homepage:
The member artists of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) have learned from their families and community, calling on materials and traditions passed down for many generations. (Submitted on October 7, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on December 25, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 7, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 96 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on October 7, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.