Atsila Anotasgi Cultural Specialist Program

Meet the Atsila Anotasgi Cultural Specialists

Xander Brady

(Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians)

Xander is from the Birdtown community of Cherokee. His cultural interests include storytelling, basket making and weaving, singing, dancing, finger-weaving, and carving. Before joining the Atsila Anotasgi Cultural Specialist team, Xander worked at the Museum as a Front Line Associate. During that time, his interest in culture deepened, and he began learning from his coworkers. Xander’s favorite part of being an Atsila Anotasgi Cultural Specialist is “being able to come to work to learn about my culture and give back to the community.”

Dylan Morgan

(Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians)

Dylan Morgan enjoys educating the public about the traditional Cherokee art form of basketry and Cherokee history and culture. Specializing in rivercane basketmaking, his work has been featured in various exhibitions at the Center for Craft, Kananesgi Art Market, and Queen House Gallery, among others. Dylan credits his inspiration and passion for rivercane basketry to many Cherokee artists, including Lucille Lossiah, Gabriel Crowe, Pat Welch, and Louise Goings. Morgan first became interested in basketry while working at the Oconaluftee Indian Village, under the guidance of Lossiah and Crow. Watching Lucille Lossiah work, Dylan learned that baskets are more than just containers: they are living members of the community, each with a story to tell. Dylan’s basket designs are inspired from Cherokee legends, nature, or use intricate symbols passed down within families: each basket is unique. He hopes to pass on the craft to future generations and to keep weaving until his fingers fall off.

Nola Pina

(Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians)

Nola grew up in the Big Cove community on the Qualla Boundary. Her passion for cultural preservation is what drives her to continue to take in as much knowledge as she can every day. As a Lead Cultural Specialist at the Museum, Nola enjoys demonstrating and teaching finger-weaving (she is a first-generation finger weaver herself), as well as storytelling and leading tours.

Cecil “Peanut” Walkingstick

(Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians)

Peanut is from the Big Community of Cherokee. He enjoys singing and dancing and is learning how to weave baskets and stone carve. On being a member of the Atsila Anotasgi Cultural Specialist team, he remarks, “I get to learn about my culture—can’t get any better than that.” As he continues to pursue his cultural interests, Peanut plans to learn as much as he can in order to pass on what he knows to his community.