Friday, March 15, 2013

Learning About River Cane Harvesting From the Experts

The College Forest has embarked on a project with The Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation focused on the restoration and use of river cane (Arundinaria gigantea) along the Swannanoa River. Cherokee artisan Jim Long and David Cozzo (EBCI Extension Center) taught students from Forestry, Garden and Archeology Crews traditional methods of identifying and harvesting mature cane as well as stripping techniques to provide material for Cherokee mats, baskets and flutes. Over the long-term, we will be working to establish a collaboration through which The Forestry Program conducts research on the ecology and management of this important cultural and ecological resource while providing a site where Cherokee artisans can harvest material and teach our students traditional uses.
We want to thank Jim and David for sharing their wisdom with us.
Jim points what to look for in a canebrake

Jim working cane for baskets
Pointing out what makes good, useable material
Rhys Brydon-Williams (left) and Charles Williamson are conducting research on the role of fire in cane regeneration and canebrakes as sediment control along rivers.

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