Oklahoma Woman Is Reviving Traditional Cherokee Art

Monday, January 6th 2014, 11:01 pm
By: News On 6

A Cherokee woman is working to preserve her tribe's culture one bead at a time.

Martha Berry grew up in Oklahoma, but she never really knew much about her Indian heritage.

Since bead-working was so important to Cherokees, she decided to teach herself.

Now she's one of the best beaders in the country and some of her pieces sell for thousands of dollars.

But it wasn't easy.

"There were no books, there were no how-to instructions, there were no classes being taught in it," said Berry. "It was before the Internet was up and running."

Berry says Cherokee bead art started to disappear during the Trail of Tears, especially when Indians were trying to blend in.

But she's helping to revive the art.

Most recently, she was named a Cherokee National Living Treasure.