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Oklahoma Traditional Crafts

Textile Arts & Quilts


Circle Saw Quilt made by Mary Ann Scott Bass in the late 1800s. The muslin backing was dyed with walnut hulls and "set" with vinegar and salt. Ms. Bass was born in 1868 to a "Freedman" family in Indian Territory. From the Lula Anderson Collection at the Oklahoma History Center.


"Crazy Quilt" This example was made by Mrs. Ola Harris in 1919. Mrs. Harris was living in Cloudy, Oklahoma, when she made the quilt. The H.H.H. are the initials of her eight-year-old son. Most of the material is wool.

Weaving

Basket Weaving


Mavis Doring, Cherokee basket maker. Members of Mrs. Doring's family came to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tear

Wheat Weaving


Woven Wheat Wreath

Crochet & Knitting


Crocheted Heart


Knitted Doll Dress

Pottery


Chris Hanna, Cherokee, of Creek County is an exceptional coil pot maker. Many of her designs are from tradition. The bowl shown reflects ancient Caddoian cultures of Oklahoma. Traditional arts often look to earlier arts for design ideas.

Wood Crafts

This is a redwood burl wooden bowl turned by Nathan Hart, an Oklahoma Cheyenne. Wood turnings are usually considered fine crafts. So many Oklahomans learn to do turnings by closely observing experienced crafts people like Nathan. Learning by observing, asking questions, and then trying the craft yourself is a form of apprenticeship. In Oklahoma, Nathan's tribal heritage adds identity and special value to the bowl."

Musical Instruments

Flute


Doc Tate Nevaquaya, Comanche flute-maker Learn more about Doc Tate's Flute Making

Fiddle


J. C. Broughton of Sapulpa, Oklahoma

Folk Art


"Beaverwood" hammer made by Gabe McDaniels of Ryan, Oklahoma, circa 1988. The wood is from lower Beaver Creek near Ryan. Mr. McDaniels' craft is his invention and is an example of folk art.

Folk art may also be described as idiosyncratic art, primitive art, naive art. Folk art usually has a broad appeal as do traditional arts and crafts. Most organizations dedicated to preserving folklife make a distinction between traditional and non-traditional arts or crafts. The effort of the Oklahoma Folklife Center and "Oklahoma Folks" is to identify, preserve traditionally produced arts and crafts. However, some traditions originated as idiosyncratic art. For that reason, "Oklahoma Folks" features some "folk art" in this section for comparison.


Vera Tayor of Tishomingo, Oklahoma made these examples of patchwork in 2002. Mrs Taylor learned to quilt from family members and from friends in the community. Although the patterns are Mrs. Taylor's, the craft remains traditional.