Berry College Lecture: “River Cane: Cultural Workhorse and Ecological Powerhouse for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina,” by Dr. David Cozzo

Date/Time
Date(s) – Mar 26 2019
7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

In honor of the 200th anniversary of the arrival of Major Ridge on the Chieftains property, Chieftains Museum/Major Ridge Home is honored to co-sponsor a lecture, “River Cane: Cultural Workhorse and Ecological Powerhouse for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina,” by Dr. David Cozzo on March 26th at 7pm in Evans Auditorium on the Berry College campus.

Dr. Cozzo is an Area Specialized Agent for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension based at the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians Extension Center and is the Project Director for the Revitalization of Traditional Cherokee Artisan Resources. An ethnobotanist, he also teaches courses and has published articles on the nutritional and medical ethnobotany of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians.

River cane, Arundinaria gigantea, a native relative of bamboo, once was found ranging from Texas to New York. The Cherokee and other tribes used the cane for making baskets, blowguns, arrows, knives, mats, fish traps, flutes, pipes, furniture, and walls for houses. Canebrakes started to decline following European settlement as lands were cleared for agriculture, fire was suppressed, and Cherokee lands were lost. River cane is not only important as a resource for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians but is also an important streamside plant. River cane has a strong root system that anchors the soil and prevents erosion. In recent years, The Revitalization of Traditional Cherokee Artisan Resources project has worked to replenish river cane sources in North Carolina, enabling them to preserve traditional arts like cane-woven baskets for the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians.

The lecture is free and open to the public. The presentation on Cherokee ethnobotany is co-sponsored by Chieftains Museum along with the Environmental Studies and Environmental Science programs and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Berry College as part of the Chieftains Lecture Series at Berry College.