Billie Anne McKellar

The Catawba tribe’s pottery tradition is more than an inherited art form; it is central to shaping the Catawba’s cultural identity. Most of us have a skill, belief or tradition that was passed down by a family member or close relation. This transfer of culture may date back hundreds or thousands of years as it forwards the ideas of our ancestors to present and future generations. For the Catawba, pottery is communication with a sacred voice from the past, and preserving the tradition is essential to preserving their culture. In the following videos we meet Billie Anne McKellar, a master of the art form and a mentor to the next generation of Catawba potters.

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Spotlight - Billie Anne McKellar  | A Natural State
Spotlight - Billie Anne McKellar | A Natural State

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Catawba pottery is recognized as one of the oldest and purest traditional art forms in America. Potters such as Billie Anne McKellar, a fourth generation potter, are often ancestors of a long line of...
Catawba Culture Center | A Natural State
Catawba Culture Center | A Natural State

Video

Maintaining Catawba tradition involves passing down family histories, belief systems, language, folklore, the arts and other aspects of cultural heritage. The Catawba Cultural Preservation Project...
What is Natural? | A Natural State
What is Natural? | A Natural State

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The natural world pervades nearly every aspect of the Catawba pottery tradition. Nature-inspired motifs include the turtle, frog, black snake, snail, feather and palm leaf, and are often connected to...
Firing the Clay | A Natural State
Firing the Clay | A Natural State

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"Green" pots are those that have dried naturally by sun and air circulation, but have yet to be fired. A sunny, windless day is the ideal setting for the day of a firing. Before firing, green pots are...
Curio Cabinet - Jugs & Pipes | A Natural State
Curio Cabinet - Jugs & Pipes | A Natural State

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Many traditional Catawba pot designs are based on a basic "cooking pot" style, dating back to the Woodland period (1000 BCE - 1000 CE) of North American pre-Columbian culture. Widespread use and trade...
Artifacts | A Natural State
Artifacts | A Natural State

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Artifacts are manmade objects, sometimes referred to as material remains, that are recovered during the excavation process. Pot shards, intact pots, rubbing stones and arrowheads are examples of...
Bean Pot | A Natural State
Bean Pot | A Natural State

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The bean pot is a traditional form that resurfaced in the Catawba potter’s repertoire in the early 1990s. Master potters used an image from an anthropological record of the early 1900s to guide their...