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basketmakers, Woodbury
Tennessee Folklife Heritage Award (2001)

Throughout her later life, Ida Pearl Davis (1921-2007) exemplified the highest standards of excellence in the once-thriving white oak basketry tradition of Cannon County. Her daughter Thelma Hibdon (1942- ) encouraged Davis’ craftwork, and they served in many capacities as ambassadors for this local craft heritage. Locally, basketmaking was a woman’s craft, and Davis descended from makers in several prominent basket families in the Short Mountain area. Like many of her age-peers, she learned as a girl, became inactive as an adult while doing textile plant work, then returned to the craft as later years brought new opportunities and appreciation for it. Davis and Hibdon demonstrated in the Tennessee program at the 1986 Smithsonian Festival of American Folklife and in other events throughout Tennessee.

Governor’s Arts Award profile

Further Reading

  • Alligood, Leon, “Woman, 70, weaves way to best in the basket-making business,” Tennessean (May 26, 1992): B1, B4.
  • Cogswell, Robert, “Ida Pearl Davis, 1922-2007,” Tennessee Folklore Society Bulletin 63, #1/2 (Spr-Fall 2007): 58.
  • Glasco, Mary Ellen, “Ida Pearl Davis Weaves Baskets of Pride,” Tennessee Magazine (Sep 1989): 8-9, 20.
  • Milburn, Trish, “Weaving by Heart,” Tennessee Magazine (Sep 2001): 18-20.
  • Slaughter, Sylvia, “Weaving Tradition,” Tennessean (August 11, 2001): 1-2D.
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