Born in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and raised in Hunter, Oklahoma, Cherokee artist Renée Hoover credits her adopted mother with teaching the attention to detail, joy of practice and the discipline involved in acquiring and perfecting skills. As an adult, Renée was elated to learn about her birth grandmother’s skill in Cherokee crafts and weaving.

“Tell Me Turtle Stories” is Renée’s fifth “story basket.” Working for many years in early childhood education, and with families involved in child protective services, she developed a keen understanding of the importance of stories for children — and parents. She wove this basket in an open-ended style, so that an adult and child may create stories unique to them and their setting. There are several turtles in the basket for a child to incorporate into their own storytelling. The large turtle on the lid could naturally become a parent/adult with the smaller turtles within the basket (and turtles specially hidden in the parent) used in whatever roles suit the story.

Renée primarily uses round reed and weaves baskets with reed spokes divisible by seven; her large baskets have 56 spokes and may include 28 Cherokee circles. Most of her baskets include a lid that complements the round form of the basket with woven corn and acorns attached. Renée has won ribbons for her work from the Cherokee Homecoming Art Show, Cherokee Nation Holiday Art Show, Trail of Tears Art Show, Red Earth and the Cherokee Art Market. 

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