First Amis Big Creek Artisan Market a hit with visitors | Rogersville

AMIS COMMUNITY — The first Big Creek Artisan Market of the year was held Saturday, May 20, at the Thomas Amis Historic Site Visitor Center on West Bear Hollow Road.

Beginning at 11 a.m., visitors could browse a wide variety art and craft items, including: authentic Cherokee crafts, Amish furniture, wood carvings and stained glass from the Clinch Mountain Gallery, books by local author Cheryl Campos, art prints, hand-crafted toys and much more.

Visitors who ventured into the Visitor Center building encountered in the main room Jeff “Walking Bear” Rickman, a Cherokee craftsman who runs Walking Bear Family Pottery. He was selling his hand-crafted pottery items and custom-made walking sticks.

“Our pottery is is all-natural and made in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains,” Walking Bear said. “It is a blend of Tennessee spring water, limestone, clay and western ground stone.”

In addition to working in pottery, Walking Bear is an actor, having played “Kinaho the Medicine Man” in the Cinemax television series “Banshee.” He also plays the elder “White Hawk” in the soon-to-be released independent film “Union.” Walking Bear said the film deals with Native American involvement in the American Civil War.

In another room of the Visitor Center, Cherokee craftsman “Stonewolf” and his wife “Yellow Feather” were marketing their crafts. Stonewolf, who traces his Cherokee ancestry back to legendary Chief Dragging Canoe, had on display a collection of hand-made stone knives,

He noted that his fifth great-grandfather, Dragging Canoe, was a personal friend of Thomas Amis, who settled the area along Big Creek where the Amis site is now located.

Yellow Feather, meanwhile, had on display for sale a large collection of Cherokee jewelry and “dream…

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