Barbara Robidoux is an Eastern Tsalagi (Cherokee). She learned to make baskets in the late 1980s on the Passamaquoddy reserve where she lived in Perry, Maine. Her teacher was Josephine Bailey, who is now deceased. Barbara’s ash and sweet grass baskets derive from her Cherokee roots and her affiliation with the basket makers of the Passamaquoddy tribe of Main. Sweet grass is gathered in the summer in Maine. Ash is also from Maine but is harder to find due to the invasion of the emerald ash borer. One basket maker told Barbara “we have 20 years left, if we are lucky.” All the materials used in the baskets are harvested and prepared in a traditional manner.
Barbara currently lives in Santa Fe and works at the Institute of American Indian Arts. She sells her baskets around Santa Fe but generally does not exhibit in shows. Barbara feels her baskets are made to be used by everyone.
Eastern Tsalagi (Cherokee)