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AfriGeneas Slave Research Forum

Please Help Identify These Chairs

I am not sure where to post this:

My grandfather's mother was said to have been a full-blooded Native-American. I can find very little information on my grandfather's line. His parents moved from Bossier Parish,Louisiana to Checota, Oklahoma sometime after 1900. I cannot find them at all after 1910.(Paul and Katy Turner) Family members who knew my great-grandmother describe her as a very quiet Indian woman with bone-straight, coarse, waist-length hair. She used to visit them in Louisiana from Oklahoma many times, but without her husband. Family lore attests to her being Blackfoot/Creek(?)but she is listed on census'records, however, as mulatto.

When I was a child, I remember lots and lots of CHAIRS around my grandfather's place in Louisiana that family members referred to as hide-bottom chairs. My grandfather used to make them. The chair itself was slightly smaller than chairs of today. They were a ladder-back style, and were made from white oak. The seats were made from tanned cowhide, and were as strong and as tight as drums. One could stand on them. My grandfather would cut the hide into strips on the undersides of the chairs and secure them tightly. .....I remember my grandmother having a rocking chair that was made in this manner. The seat and backrest of the rocking chair was made from hide.

When I was younger, I took this furniture for granted, and had no interest in it. My grandfather has been dead for 40 years. I was able to obtain ONE chair during a trip home. The rest have 'disappeared' over the years.

My grandfather also used to weave beautiful baskets.... all of his baskets have 'disappeared' as well. (He was once featured in a local newspaper for his basket weaving)

I have inquired many places as to where this style of furniture originates. Does anyone on this board have any insight to this?

Many thanks and appreciation in advance.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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