ROSE, Okla. – Known for his engaging and educational live demonstrations, Cherokee National Treasure Al Herrin is sharing his life’s work in a new exhibit at the Saline Courthouse Museum.
“Al Herrin: The Bow Maker’s Calling,” which runs through March 26, features the artist’s private collection of traditional Cherokee bows and arrows, as well as other hand-carved work.
“A true craftsman, Al captures the spirit of the materials he works with,” said Karen Shade-Lanier, CNCT interpretative projects coordinator. “People are often familiar with his work from one of his many past bow-carving demonstrations, but through this exhibit, we’re sharing more about how he got his start and the lifetime of experience that he brings to the table preserving this aspect of Cherokee life.”
Herrin first became interested in bows and arrows while watching Cherokee cornstalk shoots and crafted his first bow at the young age of 8. He learned to make his own instruments from Cherokee elders who passed their skills onto him and has spent his life perfecting his craft.
In 1991 he was honored as a Cherokee National Treasure for his passion, dedication and commitment to sharing his knowledge of Cherokee traditions with others as a teacher and demonstrator. Herrin has also authored books on bow and arrow making, Cherokee spirituality and his experiences living on the Illinois River.
The Saline Courthouse is the last of nine district courthouses built in the 1800s by the Cherokee Nation. After years of ongoing work to restore, preserve and modernize the structure, Cherokee Nation reopened the site in August 2020 as a cultural museum. It is located at 55870 S. 490 Rd. in Rose.
For information on Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism, including museum operations, please call (877) 779-6977 or visit www.VisitCherokeeNation.com.