Catawba Pottery | South Carolina Public Radio


"C" is for Catawba Pottery. Among the Catawba Indians in present-day York County, an unbroken chain of pottery production has helped preserve a cultural identity that was nearly lost after European settlement. Traditionally, women made pottery; but when the population fell to less than a hundred in 1849, everybody had to make pottery. This activity has helped maintain community traditions and is now one of the purest folk art forms in the United States. Production methods have not changed much since around 600 C.E. Pots are hand-built using traditional coiling techniques. An exhibition in 1972 at the Columbia Museum of Art gave the potters recognition they needed to begin the revival of this purest of South Carolina folk art forms. Prices and public interest in Catawba Pottery rose and have continued to do so.

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