By Thomas John Blumer
With a Foreward By William Harris
“This book represents an enormous body of work concerned with a significant topic—the persistence of the Catawba Indian pottery tradition. Using his extensive fieldwork and a narrative presentation, the author juxtaposes the evolving ceramic technology with a fascinating discussion of the role of pottery in the changing Catawba economy from the 18th to the 19th and on into the 21st century.”
—David G. Moore, Warren Wilson College
When Europeans encountered them, the Catawba Indians were living along the river and throughout the valley that carries their name near the present North Carolina—South Carolina border. Archaeologists later identified categories of pottery types belonging to the historic Catawba and extrapolated an association with their protohistoric and prehistoric predecessors.
In this volume, Thomas Blumer traces the construction techniques of those documented ceramics to the lineage of their probable present-day master potters. By mining data from archives and the oral traditions of contemporary potters, Blumer reconstructs sales circuits regularly traveled by Catawba peddlers and thereby illuminates unresolved questions regarding trade routes in the proto-historic period. In addition, the author details particular techniques o the representative potters—factors such as clay selection, tool use, decoration, and firing techniques—which influences their style.
Thomas John Blumer is a retired ethnohistorian.
William Harris is a leader of the Catawba Indian Nation.
The University of Alabama Press, 2004