Snowbird Beloved Women Mural Unveiling On Saturday

Jul 29, 2021

Community members are celebrating a new mural in Graham County dedicated to the Beloved Women and matriarchs of the Snowbird Community on Saturday. 

The Graham Revitalization Economic Action Team project – funded by a 2019 Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation Grant – was created by local Snowbird artists and the Appalachian Mural Trail. 

“The main purpose of everything was to include Snowbird with Robbinsville,” said Jackson County artist Doreyl Ammons Cain. Cain is the co-founder of the trail and one of the lead artists of the mural.

The mural celebrates the martiarchs of  Snowbird, a Cherokee community in Graham County.  

“There are so many layers of history in it. Not only Beloved Women but women who have contributed to Snowbird and all of the things that they have done: the saving of the language, the birthing of babies, beading, and basketry – all of that is in the mural,” said Cain.  

Jackson County artist Doreyl Ammons Cain with the panel she painted of Beloved Woman Ella Bird.
Credit Courtesy of Doreyl Ammons Cain

The Snowbird Cherokee Matriarchs Mural features: Beloved Woman Ella Bird, Beloved Woman Shirley Jackson Oswalt, Beloved Woman Maggie Wachacha, Lois Colonahuskie, Edna Chekelelee, Zena Rattler and Emma Garrett.

Eastern Band of Cherokee leader TJ Holland, who passed away last year, was also a lead artist on the project.  

The event will feature art, performances and an unveiling ceremony in downtown Robbinsville from 4pm to 7pm on the old VFW building, 128 N Main Street.

Here's the event schedule: 

4:00 p.m. - Cherokee Arts & Crafts Demos

5:00 p.m. - Refreshments & Entertainment – featuring a children’s choir, flutist and more.

6:00 p.m. - Mural Dedication Ceremony

Organizers will provide parking at the football field and a shuttle to the event, according to Cain.