Stitch by Stitch: The Second Annual Kananesgi Fashion Show is Saturday, August 17 | Cherokee, NC

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Stitch by Stitch: The Second Annual Kananesgi Fashion Show is Saturday, August 17

(Guest designer, Kenny Glass, pictured above.)

The second annual Kananesgi Fashion Show featuring traditional and contemporary Cherokee fashions by Cherokee designers and makers will take place on Saturday, August 17 at Cherokee Central Schools from 6 to 9 p.m. Guests can see—and shop—the fashions at the marketplace, as well as meet with the creators. 

A guest designer, the textile artist Kenny Glass, a Cherokee and Wyandot native originally from Kansas, Oklahoma, will also be showing his work. Kenny’s work mixes traditional Cherokee designs and cultural aspects with modern ideas. New this year, the fashion show will feature around 60 quilts made by the Qualla Quilters, a group of local quilters and fiber artists who have been meeting once a month for the past 10 years. To round out the show, there will also be mubic by local rappers Kid Savvy and Jinuine.

(Photo via @AuthenticallyCherokee)

The Roots of the Kananesgi Fashion Show 

The Kananesgi Fashion Show is part of a craft event series that launched last year by organizers Hope Huskey from the Sequoyah Fund, and Tara McCoy and Tonya Carroll of the Ray Kinsland Leadership Institute. The group chose the name Kananesgi, which means “spider,” and is a symbol of creativity and artistic talent in Cherokee.

The Kananesgi craft event series includes a pottery show that happened earlier this spring, the fashion show on August 17, and a basket and carving festival taking place on November 9 at the Cherokee Fairgrounds. The Kananesgi events are made possible by a grant from the Cherokee Preservation Foundation.

For the Kananesgi Fashion show, open calls were held in February for anyone wanting to participate, and then interested parties got to attend one of three fabric design classes that were held. Next, the group worked with the Cherokee Cooperative Extension Office to take sewing classes by the local 4H program, taught by Sally Dixon and her mother, Diane Floyd. All together, around 25 individuals participated in this year’s show, creating 50 different fabric designs and around 80 pieces of clothing.

(Photo via @AuthenticallyCherokee)

What to Expect at This Year’s Kananesgi Fashion Show 

This year, the show will incorporate more formal wear and contemporary looks than last year. Some of the artists designed fabrics featuring masks and the 7 Clans, and you can expect to see a lot of animal and nature designs. Like last year, there will be basketweaving and pottery prints incorporated into the fabric designs. Overall, the creativity is more amped up this year, with a lot more color in the designs. 

Community collaborations are at the core of the show, including family collaborations from across the generations. One exciting example of this is Nancy Maney from Sew Tsalagi, a local sewing shop, took a pot made by her mother, Louise Bigmeat, that is on display at the current pottery show at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, and turned the design into colorful fabric. She also designed a fabric based on the stairway to heaven pottery stamp. Nancy’s brother, William, created a rainbow print using the same stairway design, and her daughter-in-law, Carrah, created a beautiful print that showcases stomp dancing—a traditional ceremonial dance. 

Want to go?

Seats are available at the show on a first-come, first-served basis, and admission is free. Last year the event reached capacity, so it has been moved to a bigger venue. 

What: Kananesgi Fashion Show

When: Saturday August 17th, 2019, 6-9 p.m.

Where: Cherokee Central Schools, the Gathering Place and Courtyard, 86 Elk Crossing Lane, Cherokee, NC 28719

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