Ida Pearl Davis & Thelma Hibdon

basketmakers, Woodbury

Tennessee Folklife Heritage Award (2001)

Photo by Robert Cogswell


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.  Basketmaking was a woman’s craft, and Davis was 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 appreciation for it.  Davis and Hibdon demonstrated in the Tennessee program at the 1986 Smithsonian Festival of American Folklife and widely in other events in Tennessee.

To see Ida Pearl Davis and Thelma Hibdon’s profile in the 2001 Governor’s Awards in the Arts program, click here.

For more about Ida Pearl Davis and Thelma Hibdon, go to:

Youtube addr for 2001 Gov Awd video profile


For further reading, see:

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.