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Celebrating Our Appalachian Heritage
New Generation of Culture Keepers in Cherokee
A new generation of Cherokee artists are stepping up as “culture keepers,” tackling the traditional subjects of the tribe in new media and with new eyes. Their visions can be seen in the new art show, “Renewal of the Ancient: Cherokee Millennial Artists,” now open at the Museum of Cherokee Indian.
“We must all encourage young Cherokee artists to discover the vast amount of inspiration found within the past,” explained Joshua Adams, who was invited to serve as guest curator for the show. Adams sent out an invitation to artists age 40 and under and was pleased at the variety of talents and various media assembled for the show.
 “This is important to who we are as a tribe,” said James “Bo” Taylor, the museum’s executive director, at an opening reception for the artists, families, friends and museum supporters. Read the rest here.
Photo by Dale Neal
Hayesville Celebrates Rich Cherokee Heritage
Hayesville’s annual Cherokee Heritage Festival celebrates Clay County’s rich history of Cherokee culture 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15 with demonstrations, dancers, art, crafts, music, children's activities, and Cherokee food.  
This event is sponsored by Clay County Communities Revitalization Association, and is located at the Cherokee Homestead Exhibit, which showcases traditional Cherokee winter and summer houses.  Information about five sites along the 2-mile Quanassee Path: A Cherokee History Trail is available. Quanassee Path t-shirts and other souvenir items are for sale.

Cherokee Heritage Festival, Hayesville
Come Get Your Gee Haw at Heritage Weekend
The 38th annual Heritage Weekend returns Sept. 15-16 to the Blue Ridge Parkway’s Folk Art Center. This free celebration of mountain heritage held by the Southern Highland Craft Guild features traditional crafts accompanied by music and dancing.
A highlight of the weekend is the annual World Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle Competition on Saturday, from 2:00 to 3:00. A whimmy diddle is an Appalachian mountain toy traditionally made from two sticks of rhododendron. Notches are carved into one stick and a propeller is attached to the end. Rubbing the notches with the second stick makes the propeller spin. Can you get it to gee (spin to the right) and haw (spin to the left)?
During the World Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle Competition contestants are judged on the number of rotations between gee and haw they can complete during a given time. They may be asked to switch hands or whimmy diddle behind their back. All ages may compete with trophies given for best child, adult, and professional. Winners receive a Moon Pie, a t-shirt, and bragging rights.
On going demonstrations will include traditional woodworking with traditional tools, weaving, spinning, dyeing, broom making, stone carving, and print making. Visitors will have the opportunity to try their own hand at some of the crafts and an activity table will encourage young people to create. Check here for details. 
Dancing at Heritage Weekend, Courtesy of Southern Highland Craft Guild
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Blue Ridge National Heritage Area  •  195 Hemphill Knob Road  •  Asheville, NC 28803

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