Born July 31, 1924, on the Chitimacha Reservation, near Charenton, Louisiana, Ada, at age 12, learned traditional basket-weaving from her grandmother.  Traveling and working all over the United States, she did not begin basketweaving again until the mid-1970s when her husband died and she returned to the reservation.  To make the double-woven basket, she interlaced strands of red and dark brown dyed swamp cane or cane reed from the bayous.  Most of the designs reflect a close association with life in the Louisiana bayous.  In 1983, she was honored as a National Heritage Fellowship recipient by the National Endowment for the Arts and participated in the Smithsonian’s Folk Life Festival.  Her baskets are in the permanent collections of: Birmingham Museum of Art, Louisiana Folklife Program; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of International Folk Art of Santa Fe, New Mexico; and collections of the U.S. Department of the Interior.  Thomas died in Charenton.

Source:  “Ada Thomas,” Know Louisiana.  Retrieved 7/6/2020,
Photo:  Author and date unknown. Fair Use. Source:

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