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Battise, Doris

Doris Battise

Coushatta Pine Needle Basket Maker

Born in the fall of 1926, Doris Robinson Battise grew up in the small town of Elton, Louisiana. As a member of the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas, Battise was a well-known and respected master longleaf pine-needle basket weaver. She learned basket weaving at a young age from her mother, Lizzie Robinson, who taught Battise the subtle intracacies of weaving nature into art. Battise even learned river cane basketry. From her home on the Alabama-Coushatta Reservation, Battise carried on the artistic tradition, teaching her own children and the children of the community to weave pine-needle baskets.

Most of her work had been available through the now defunct Tribal Enterprise, personal sales at various powwows and craft shows, and eBay from various collectors. Battise passed away content with the knowledge that her baskets have become collectors' items scattered throughout the country including various museums and that the Alabama-Coushatta Historic Preservation and Cultural Programs Offices have endeavored to revitalize the legacy of longleaf basket weaving. Her works of art have been presented to numerous people, dignitaries and organizations. In turn, she was presented with many letters of recognition, awards, and honors for her unique craftsmanship. President of the United States, William J. Clinton, sent her a letter of appreciation. In 1993, The Memorial Student Center Visual Arts Comittee of Texas A&M University honored Battise with a "living treasure" award and the state of Texas Office of the govener, Ann W, Richards, commendeed Battise for the significant cultural contribution she made towards preserving the Alabama-Coushatta heritage through pine-needles basketry. In 1995 she recieved a letter of appreciation from Comite des Fetes, des arts et des sports de nice of nice, France for the creation of a pine-needle basket which was presented at the festival. Battise recieved a Retired and senior volunteer Program Certificate of appreciation from the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas for teaching local children the art of pine-needle basketry. Battise was also inducted into the hall of master folk artists for her pine-needle basketry at the 2011 Natchitoches-Nsu Folklife Festival in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

In 2014 she decided to "retire" due to poor health despite the urging of her children and those eager to buy her baskets. She passed away on August 7, 2015 at the age of 89.

Updated November 15, 2016 by Natchitoches-NSU Louisiana Folklife Center Staff