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Google Doodle honors Amanda Crowe, who led resurgence of Native American art

The Cherokee woodcarver's expressive animal figures inspired an art revival.

Sean Keane Former Senior Writer
Sean knows far too much about Marvel, DC and Star Wars, and poured this knowledge into recaps and explainers on CNET. He also worked on breaking news, with a passion for tech, video game and culture.
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Sean Keane
2 min read

The Google Doodle showcases Amanda Crowe's art.

Google Doodle/Screenshot by CNET

Friday's Google Doodle celebrates Amanda Crowe, a Cherokee artist whose animal carvings kick-started a Native American art revival.

The video Doodle highlights Crowe's work and words, with music by her nephew Bill, and is part of Google's nod to Native American Heritage Month.

The pieces seen in the video are housed at Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, the country's oldest American Indian cooperative, in Cherokee, North Carolina. Crowe's work has also been displayed at Atlanta's High Museum and Charlotte's Mint Museum.

Crowe was born in North Carolina's Qualla Boundary, a territory owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, on July 16, 1928, and started making art four years later, learning from her woodcarver uncle Goingback Chiltoskey.


Crowe illustrated Cherokee Legends and the Trail of Tears.

Cherokee Publications

"The grain challenges me to create objects in three dimensions," she said of her craft. "A mistake or flaw in the wood will improve your design. To me, a knot can be the best part."

She went on to earn a master of fine arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1952, then studied with sculptor Jose de Creeft in Mexico before returning home to teach art classes at Cherokee High School.

Crowe passed on her skills to more than 2,000 students over 40 years and illustrated the 1956 book Cherokee Legends and the Trail of Tears. She died in 2004.

In many countries outside the US, Friday's Doodle paid tribute to Elisa Leonida Zamfirescu, one of the world's first female engineers, on what would've been her 131st birthday.

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