The Catawba Potters

The Catawba potters are doing much the same thing as the contemporary Alibamu-Koasati, Chitimacha, Choctaw, Creek, Louisiana Koa-sati, and Seminole by reflecting the art of the "old Indians." The surviving art of these communities echoes the same ancient motifs to varied degrees. All of these tribes, like the Catawba, suffered the rapid decline of their native cultural environments to various degrees. In all cases it took four centuries for this to happen. For the Catawba, and most likely for the others, however, the lapse of time is not that remarkable. The oldest and finest of the documented Catawba vessels found in museum collections were made in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. The individuals who did this work, constructed and decorated these vessels, were only removed from the last glimmer of a still relatively intact Catawba way of life by two folk-life-memory generations. They looked back on the "old Indians" to a time when

Picture Catawba IndianAncient Catawba Pottery

dress worn at the Corn Show in Columbia, South Carolina, in 1913. Note the use of the war captain's snake insignia on the outer skirt. This dress was worn by Rachel George Brown.

Figure 41. Catawba woman's dance the folkways were still relatively pure. For instance, the great potter Martha Jane Harris, one of the easiest potters of this generation to document, lived from i860 to 1936. She learned her craft from her mother Peggy George Harris who learned her craft from the Revolutionary War generation of Indians. We are fairly certain that the Catawba of this period still proudly wore the old tribal designs in either tattoo form or perhaps even used them in body painting, particularly when they went off to war. Martha Jane's grandparents certainly knew Pine Tree George, either in person or through folk stories. At the same time, other than a general understanding of the peace pipe and its relation to the four cardinal directions, the contemporary Catawba have little knowledge as to what the motifs may mean. Their reason for using them remains firm: "These are the designs the old Indians used, and we use them too."

When speaking of Catawba pottery design motifs, the old and very fine nineteenth-century vessels reflect a tattooing origin or at least link to this tradition. The style of decoration found in one distinct set of nineteenth-century vessels reflects the tattoo artist's technique, which is also observable in pre-Columbian vessels found across the Southeast. The potter so marking a vessel proceeds in much the same way as a tattoo artist. First the potter makes a clean line in the wet clay. The tattoo artist does the very same thing on a person's skin. Then the potter takes a pin and punctures the line at even intervals just as the tattoo artist pushes the ink beneath the surface of the skin (Figure 42).

There exists a very small number of Catawba pipes that were hand a.

The Natchez Indian Pottery
b.

Figure 42. Tattooing technique.

  1. Prehistoric usage of tattooing technique in pottery decoration.
  2. Catawba peace pipe exhibiting the same tattooing technique. Made ca. 1880.

bent, not made with a squeeze mold, in the nineteenth century. These pipes are more accurately termed portrait pipes, for they seem to be efforts at portraiture on a very basic level. Three of these pipes show men decorated with tattoos or with painted designs on their chins. The first pipe was discovered in the Smithsonian collection (Figure 38a). The design on this pipe is also found on the chin of the Choctaw man drawn by Mollhausen. The second pipe was found in the Simpson Collection, now housed in the Catawba Cultural Preservation Project Archives. In this case the potter added more vertical lines than required (Figure 38b). The third pipe is from the University Museum collection at the University of Pennsylvania. The man portrayed here has an inverted feather (a gesture of peace) upon his chin (Figure 38c). Other so-called portrait pipes have been located; but, to date, these are the only examples with possible tattooing or body painting on the face. The McKissick Museum collection at the University of South Carolina has an Indian head pot that displays traditional Catawba body art. This vessel is signed and can be dated. It was made by Fanny Harris Canty (1900-1951). She learned her art from her grandmother Sarah Jane Ayers Harris (1839-1918).

Another piece of evidence comes from the hand of Pine Tree George. He was one of the last documented Catawba war captains. As such, Pine Tree may have had the honor of wearing the black snake insignia tattooed on his upper back and shoulders. There is no documentation that he did, but, in the late eighteenth century, Pine Tree George was the recipient of a silver gorget for his war service. He wore this tribute of honor around his neck. The front bears his name inscribed in bold letters by the silversmith. Not satisfied with the gorget, Pine Tree George laboriously worked to engrave his rank insignia on the gorget's

Figure 43. Drawing taken from the reverse side of the eighteenth century Pine Tree George gorget. Displays the serpent war captain insignia. The two snakes engraved on this silver gorget presumably by Pine Tree George.

reverse. He obviously felt the two snakes spoke better for his accomplishments in life (Figure 43). Pine Tree George knew how to interpret the signatures on the 1764 Kussoe land cession agreement better than did Chief Thomas Morrison. He was probably present when the Natchez Indian tattooed heads were removed from the buckets of brine in which the governor of South Carolina had preserved them. He was able to read such marks. As a war captain, his advice was sought on all matters regarding war.

A brief discussion of each Catawba motif treatment in the context of Catawba usage and antiquity, primarily as Southern Cult symbols, will help put the Catawba incising tradition in its proper perspective.

Sun Circle

The sun circle is perhaps the motif most commonly used in incised Catawba pottery. It can be seen if one follows Willoughby's method of observation, looking from the top down. In this way the sun circle can be analyzed in its most conservative treatment. Nearly every incised vessel exhibits a portrayal of the sun circle, sometimes in ways that are exactly parallel to examples found at the most studied Missis-sippian period sites. The treatment can be accomplished in a singular way. It can also be a complicated series of overlapping sun circles such as in the turtle pipe attributed to Billy George and today found in the University of North Carolina collection at Chapel Hill (Figure 44). Other more simple combinations of the sun circle motif can be just as dramatic (Figure 45). Once the Willoughby method of reading is ap-

Sun Circle Motif

Figure 44. Turtle pipe.

  1. Drawing of turtle pipe attributed to Billy George (1800-1896) as typically viewed from the side.
  2. Drawing is done by the Wil-loughby method looking down on this same pipe. This method reveals a total of four overlapping sun circle motifs on one very small smoking pipe.
Monty Branum

Figure 45. Drawing of a sun circle motif taken from a snake pot made by contemporary master Catawba potter Monty Branham. The original pot was part of a Law Library, Library of Congress exhibition mounted in 1997. (Blumer Collection)

plied to Catawba pottery, this becomes clear. This method will be used throughout this discussion of the Catawba incising tradition.

Barred Oval

Of all the incised designs used by the Catawba potters, the barred oval motif appears to be the most important on an individual level. Easily linked to the drawings of Le Moyne and Hagler's signature, it is tempting to speculate that this design may very well represent the one motif most important to sixteenth-century Indians in general. It is not, however, an exclusive Catawba motif. It appears repeatedly in the documentation coming from other southeastern Indian communities. A sixteenth-century Native American presented with this motif probably would not have been able to tell that it was of Catawba origin. Such an identification depended on a combination of motifs, and this information is lost to us. Rich in possibilities, the motif is found in a large

Indian Smoking Pipes Tattoso

Figure 46. Barred oval.

  1. Barred oval incised on a plain smoking pipe made by Margaret Harris, ca. 1915.
  2. Barred oval impressed on an axe pipe by the punctate method, made ca. 1900.
  3. Ornate barred oval, made ca. 1900.

Figure 46. Barred oval.

  1. Barred oval incised on a plain smoking pipe made by Margaret Harris, ca. 1915.
  2. Barred oval impressed on an axe pipe by the punctate method, made ca. 1900.
  3. Ornate barred oval, made ca. 1900.

Figure 47. a. Detail of tattoo motif from Le Moyne, Figure 12 (Lorant 1946:59).

b. Drawing of a contemporary Catawba pipe displaying a similar motif.

Figure 47. a. Detail of tattoo motif from Le Moyne, Figure 12 (Lorant 1946:59).

b. Drawing of a contemporary Catawba pipe displaying a similar motif.

number of variations and in numerous situations beyond the king's signature on a document (see Figures 35 and 36). For Georgia Harris, it was a favored motif for plain smoking pipes. She learned her craft and the use of the motif from her grandparents Epp Harris (1830-1916) and Martha Jane Harris (1860-1936) (Figure 46).

As with the sun circle and as portrayed by Le Moyne, the barred oval can often be part of a multi-motif treatment. For instance, the chief pictured by Le Moyne is tattooed with the barred oval in combination with the ladder motif (Figure 47). This is a common Catawba treatment. The only surviving original painting, now owned by the new York County Public Library, reveals that the tattoo marks Le Moyne placed upon Chief Saturina's body are exactly the same as the barred oval used to decorate Catawba vessels (Figure 48). It is the same symbol used by King Hagler to sign at least one document (see Figure 35).

0 00 00

Catawba Indian Symbols

Figure 48. a. Detail of a tattoo motif from Le Moyne, Figure 32 (Lorant 1946:99).

b. Drawing of a contemporary Catawba pipe displaying a similar motif.

Figure 48. a. Detail of a tattoo motif from Le Moyne, Figure 32 (Lorant 1946:99).

b. Drawing of a contemporary Catawba pipe displaying a similar motif.

Cross, Swastika, and Pinwheel

The cross and its variations of the swastika and pinwheel are well known in both North and South America. These motifs are found everywhere in ancient and modern Native American art. These important reflections of the sacred fire and the wind that feeds the fire are important to the Catawba potters (Howard 1968). The Catawba do some of their finest incising when these motifs are the subject. An example is an elbow pipe found in the Smithsonian collection. It was made in the nineteenth century by both a master pipe maker and a potter with a sure hand at incising this delicate cross symbol on such a small curved surface (Figure 49b, c).

The swastika has apparently never been a popular Catawba motif. To date, the motif has been found on only one vessel, an Indian head pot found in a Chester, South Carolina, antiques shop (Figure 50). Again the work is exceedingly well executed and shows that the potter considered the decorating task important.

Among the Catawba potters, the pinwheel variation is far more

Catawba Indian Pottery

Cross, Swastika, and Pinwheel

b and c. Cross incised on a plain Catawba smoking pipe, made ca. 1880.

Figure 49. Cross designs. a. Cross design from a fragment of cloth preserved through direct contact with copper. Excavated

Catawba Indian Pottery

Figure 50. Swastikas.

  1. Swastika incised on a prehistoric shard found at St. Johns River, Florida.
  2. Swastika incised on a Catawba Indian head lug, made ca. 1880. (Blumer Collection)

Figure 50. Swastikas.

  1. Swastika incised on a prehistoric shard found at St. Johns River, Florida.
  2. Swastika incised on a Catawba Indian head lug, made ca. 1880. (Blumer Collection)
Etruscan Swastika

Figure 51. Swastikas.

  1. Pinwheel version of a swastika motif cut into a copper gorget excavated at Etowah, Georgia.
  2. Pinwheel version of a swastika incised on a Catawba jar of a modern shape, made ca. 1900 (Blumer Collection).

Figure 51. Swastikas.

  1. Pinwheel version of a swastika motif cut into a copper gorget excavated at Etowah, Georgia.
  2. Pinwheel version of a swastika incised on a Catawba jar of a modern shape, made ca. 1900 (Blumer Collection).

popular than is the swastika. A number of examples may be found in the Poag Collection (Figure 51) (BC).

In southeastern Indian art, the cross is linked to the sacred fire, the logs of which point in the four cardinal directions (Figure 52). Keeping the fire was a universal practice, and is reflected in much of the art produced by contemporary southern Indians. The symbol was used in signing Colonial documents and is still used on simple items of decorative art being produced in the region.

The most readable of all the Catawba cross treatments is found in

Catawba Indian Symbols
Figure 52. Sacred fire pattern shows the four cardinal directions.

the Catawba peace pipe. This curious vessel, which has long puzzled those who have examined it and studied its construction, is in actuality a simple reflection of the sacred fire. This revelation becomes obvious when the peace pipe is seen in its ceremonial context. Also, one can only understand this little vessel when it is studied using the Wil-loughby method, looking from the top down. Viewed in this way, the bowl, filled with smoldering tobacco, becomes the sacred fire. The traditional four stems that point in the four cardinal directions are the four logs that feed the sacred fire (Figure 53).

Once the peace pipe is seen in its proper context, the Catawba potters' devotion to this little pipe becomes obvious. The mystery that once shrouded this vessel suddenly evaporates. The potters' stubborn refusal to abandon the peace pipe has puzzled observers for the last century. The vessel is difficult to build and has never been cost effective to make. Even at today's prices, which can top 100 dollars, the potters find it difficult to make a profit. A total of seven pieces of clay must meet on a tiny bowl in perfect harmony. The four stems must point in the four cardinal directions, a feat difficult to attain in wet clay. All this must be done to perfection before the potter begins to spend hours burnishing and incising the vessel. The pipe must at the same time be able to be smoked. Until the stems take a river cane reed, it is hard to see a situation where four people might smoke this pipe, yet when placed in a historic ceremonial context, all this become clear. Once the pipe stems are properly decorated in the four cardinal direction colors of red, black, white, and yellow the vessel needs little explanation.

The last time the peace pipe was used in a treaty ceremony can be

Figure 53. Undecorated peace pipe observed by the Willoughby method from the top down showing the clear c^J reflection of the sacred fire.

traced to 1752. At that time the Catawba, led by King Hagler, traveled from the Catawba Nation on the South Carolina frontier to Albany on the New York frontier. They went at great hazard to themselves into enemy territory and had to be protected from possible Six Nations trickery. The peace-making ceremony is preserved in a brief description made by an eyewitness (O'Callaghan 1855). The Catawba entered the treaty grounds dancing and singing with their feathers pointed to the ground in a peaceful gesture. At the proper time, King Hagler produced a pipe, which unfortunately goes undescribed. He lit the pipe and smoked it with each of the Six Nations representatives present. The pipe was not thought worthy of description by the official witness, but since it was produced by the Catawba king, we can be fairly certain it was a Catawba peace pipe. Although the peace pipe has not been used in such a ceremony in over 250 years, the pipe still has an official position in the Catawba General Council. Peace pipes are often presented to honored government officials such as the governor of South Carolina, judges, and members of the legislature. Such pipes were presented to Senator Strom Thurmond, Senator Ernest Hollings, and Representative John Spratt in 1986.

The Catawba spend a lot of time decorating the peace pipe. But a pipe can also be undecorated and still make a statement, such as in Figure 53. The decoration can grow in complexity in accord with the potter's incising skills (Figures 54 and 55).

Feather Motif

One of the most popular motifs is the feather, which is so often connected to Indian culture by non-Indians. It is usually seen on the bonnet of the Indian head or King Hagler pipe (Figure 56). Although it is normally restricted to the smaller and more personal pieces such as

Peace Pipe Drawing

Figure 54. An incised peace pipe observed by the Willoughby method from the top down showing not only the sacred fire but also the use of a sun circle motif.

Decorating Peace Pipe

Figure 55. A more ornate incised peace pipe observed by the Willoughby method from the top down showing not only the sacred fire but also the use of a sun circle motif. This vessel is attributed to Rhoda George Harris (ca. 1818-1918). (Blumer Collection)

Catawba Indian Head Pipe
Figure 56. Several feather motif treatments incised on an Indian head pipe. (Blumer Collection)

pipes, it is sometimes used to decorate larger vessels as well. Georgia Harris often circled the rims of her bowls with the pattern's graceful variation. Doris Blue often used the feather motif for her smoking pipes. Peace pipes are often decorated with this motif. As a rule, the feathers point downward as a sign of peace (Figure 57).

This motif has undergone a certain evolution in the last 120 years. The oldest form of the motif is stylized and stiff and bears a striking resemblance to what archaeologists might find in a dig. Pipes attributed to Susannah Harris Owl are decorated in this fashion (Figure 58a). One of the first documented potters to begin the transition of the feather motif to that of a fern or a palm leaf was Rosie Harris Wheelock (Figure 58b). Her daughter continued the process (Figure 58c). In recent years some of the potters have tended to make their feathers graceful, more in the direction of fern fronds. In some potters' interpretation, the motif is somewhat confused between a feather and a leaf.

While Susannah Harris Owl tended to be very traditional, she sometimes decorated her larger pots with this motif. With her, the feather definitely becomes a fern symbol, which has no pre-Columbian roots that have been discovered to date (Figure 59).

The Snake

The Catawba snake pot compares to the peace pipe in its importance to the Catawba potters. It is a clear reflection of the Cult of the Serpent in the southeastern Indian cultural context. The snake portrayed is the sacred black snake, which has a rich history in Catawba legend and folklore. Mary (Dovie) Harris claimed to be able to charm snakes. She often frightened children by going to the edge of the woods and putting her arms in the air and singing out, "All yee snakes and lizards come

Catawba Indian Pottery
Figure 57. Peace pipe with the feather pointing down in the peace gesture and also viewed by the Willoughby method from the top down.
Etowah Indian Pottery

Figure 58. Axe pipes and comb pipes.

  1. Axe pipe made by Susannah Harris Owl (1847-1934).
  2. Comb pipe made by Rosie Harris Wheelock (1880-1935).
  3. Axe pipe made by Doris Wheelock Blue (1905-1985). (Blumer Collection)

Figure 58. Axe pipes and comb pipes.

  1. Axe pipe made by Susannah Harris Owl (1847-1934).
  2. Comb pipe made by Rosie Harris Wheelock (1880-1935).
  3. Axe pipe made by Doris Wheelock Blue (1905-1985). (Blumer Collection)

Figure 59. Gypsy or medicine pot made by Susannah Harris Owl, ca. 1900.

unto me." Catawba folklore abounds with snake stories such as the giant snake that lurked in the Catawba River preying on unsuspecting Indians fishing or going there to draw water. But the snake pot is more than a reflection of these interesting folk tales. It is directly related to the rank of war captain.

The war captain rank was honored throughout the Southeast (see Figure 43). Originally, both men and women held the rank (see Figures 40 and 41), as is obvious from the Kussoe land cession document where several female signers are designated as "captains." It was earned in warfare. Those Catawba who gained this rank did so with scalps and other evidence of deeds of valor. They assisted the king in convincing tribal members to follow him in war parties and were crucial to the success of any such venture. Although the rank died with Catawba participation in the Indian Wars, the snake symbol survives in numerous works of art. The motif is used on shoulder straps by the Creek, Kousati, Seminole, and Yuchi; on the basket by the Chitimacha; and on the revered snake pot by the Catawba.

The Catawba snake pot is usually but not always a humble cooking pot. The snake traditionally appears in high relief on the side of the vessel. It usually seems ready to crawl into the pot. It is most often the potter's greatest accomplishment in Catawba pottery making. Not all but most Catawba potters make the shape. Today it may be found on vessels other than the cooking pot. These include the gypsy pot, shallow trays, water jars, and even the Rebecca pitcher. Probably the most triumphant snake pots ever attempted by any Catawba potter are the monumental sculpted vessels made by Earl Robbins. Perhaps the most sensitive versions ever made by a Catawba potter are the work of the staunch Baptist, Susannah Harris Owl, who refused to discuss the old religion with Frank G. Speck but was celebrated for her fine snake

Medicine Pot

Figure 59. Gypsy or medicine pot made by Susannah Harris Owl, ca. 1900.

i

Figure 60. Snake pots.

  1. Snake pot in the form of a tray with four legs made by Susannah Harris Owl (1847-1934).
  2. Snake pot made by Doris Wheelock Blue in 1971. (Blumer Collection)

Figure 60. Snake pots.

  1. Snake pot in the form of a tray with four legs made by Susannah Harris Owl (1847-1934).
  2. Snake pot made by Doris Wheelock Blue in 1971. (Blumer Collection)

pots (Speck i934:xiii). Today, a number of new generation master potters are becoming known for their snake pots (Figure 60).

Secondary Patterns Used to Elaborate Primary Motifs

The Zigzag

This simple design has never been popular with the Catawba potters. It is included here because the Catawba use it on occasion, and it is the one pan-Indian motif most immediately identified with American Indian art. If the zigzag is used in Catawba incising it is often part of a multi-motif usage such as that found on the Billy George turtle pipe (see Figure 44). The two Catawba examples provided here show that the potters use the motif pleasingly when they do select it (Figure 6i). The Catawba have not been observed using this motif as illustrated by Willoughby in his interesting method of study (see Figure 39). Rather than use the zigzag, the Catawba potter will turn to the curved line. The results of this preferred approach may be analyzed in the figures included here.

The Ladder

This elaboration of any two parallel lines never appears alone on any vessel. It is always done in concert with other motifs. The barred oval is often made more complicated by this device (see Figures 46 and 47).

Georgia Indian Pottery Designs

Figure 61. Zigzag motifs.

  1. Zigzag motif incised on a rim shard from Etowah, Georgia.
  2. Zigzag motif incised on a rim shard from St. Johns River, Florida.
  3. d. Zigzag motif incised on plain Catawba smoking pipes, made ca. 1900.

Figure 61. Zigzag motifs.

  1. Zigzag motif incised on a rim shard from Etowah, Georgia.
  2. Zigzag motif incised on a rim shard from St. Johns River, Florida.
  3. d. Zigzag motif incised on plain Catawba smoking pipes, made ca. 1900.

The outer edge of an incised turtle effigy often shows the ladder design, probably because it seems most natural to the actual turtle shell rim pattern (Figure 62). It is very effective when used with other motifs and is often embellished with a dot appearing in each section of the ladder.

The Crosshatch

The appearance of the crosshatch on Catawba vessels has literally thousands of parallels between the prehistoric and the present. Museum collections containing southeastern materials invariably have numerous fine examples of this pattern. By nature it cannot appear without being part of another motif. It carries no meaning by itself.

Many Catawba pipes and peace pipes dating back to the late nineteenth century exhibit this pattern (Figures 49, 54, and 63). The potter credited with the survival of the crosshatch during the decline of the Catawba tradition from 1930-1970 is Doris Blue. She used it effectively, and today's new generation master potters are very apt to emulate potters like Doris Blue. Another factor in the survival of the crosshatch may be its use on the turtle effigy. The motif is not the only pattern used to decorate the turtle effigy, but it seems the most natural to the turtle shell's appearance (Figure 62). The same is true of the incising used in the snake effigy (Figure 60). To the potters, the crosshatch reflects the skin pattern of a living snake and is most often used in incising the body of a snake effigy. On occasion, however, the potters will use a series of curved lines or a series of closely placed lines, which do not reflect the pattern found on any particular snake.

Turtle Motif

Figure 62. Crosshatch and ladder motif shown on a contemporary Catawba turtle effigy.

Figure 62. Crosshatch and ladder motif shown on a contemporary Catawba turtle effigy.

Catawba Indian Pottery

Figure 63. Crosshatch motif.

  1. Crosshatch motif incised on a prehistoric shard found at St. Johns River, Florida.
  2. Arrowhead pipe made in the early twentieth century by Rosie Harris Wheelock (1880-1935).
  3. Small bowl (3" x 2") attributed to Nettie Harris Owl Harris (1872-1923), made in 1909 for the Cherokee trade. (Blumer Collection)

Figure 63. Crosshatch motif.

  1. Crosshatch motif incised on a prehistoric shard found at St. Johns River, Florida.
  2. Arrowhead pipe made in the early twentieth century by Rosie Harris Wheelock (1880-1935).
  3. Small bowl (3" x 2") attributed to Nettie Harris Owl Harris (1872-1923), made in 1909 for the Cherokee trade. (Blumer Collection)

CONCLUSION

The Catawba incising tradition between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries remains clouded in mystery. It now seems apparent though that the nineteenth-century Catawba restricted their incising to small vessels, especially pipes. A shift in the incising tradition occurred at the end of the nineteenth century. It appears that the artistic shift may be linked to the efforts of Susannah Owl to provide the early tourists at Cherokee with examples of Indian art. She continued to decorate her pipes in the traditional way, but she also sought to make her larger vessels more Indian in appearance through expanding the area of incising to the outer walls of large vessels.

There is little doubt that strong artistic connections remain between the sixteenth century and contemporary incised Catawba pottery. The early explorers found Indians who were content with their methods of beautifying their bodies with paint and tattooed designs, but between Le Moyne and White's artistic endeavors and the war of the American Revolution much had been lost. The Catawba is one community that has lost nearly all of its old culture, yet they have retained one wonderful glimmer of the past in their incising tradition.

The Catawba experience is not singular. Archaeologists discover new and ever more interesting perspectives as they continue the laborious task of looking into our region's prehistory. Work is being done all across the region. Artifacts of importance are being found as this book is being written. These important messages from the past must be brought together as part of a larger body of evidence. In this way we will begin to deepen our understanding of the southern Indian at the time of contact. This material provides us with a chance to grow in understanding so long after the facts of contact have been covered by the dust of time.

As agreed on by everyone who has done research with the old records, the Colonial period documents remain a weak link. Examining Colonial documents from Texas to Virginia needs to continue in a methodical way. All the citations discovered in this process need to be brought together, perhaps in one comprehensive publication.

At the same time, the contributions of existing Native American communities, including the Catawba, must be examined more closely. Every clue, every bit of important evidence should be used to its fullest potential. The three pieces of the puzzle must be brought together. The problem is that this task has been done piecemeal. The crucial work cannot be done by one discipline alone. The full range of academic scholars must tackle this issue in cooperation if progress is to be made. Anthropologists, archaeologists, ethnologists, folklorists, historians, and the Native Americans themselves must join hands in a new way and bring this important part of history to light.

The motifs preserved by the old Indians continue to decorate Catawba vessels. The catalog of such motif treatments contains a multitude of examples not used as illustrations here. Indeed, the work of today's new generation master Catawba potters looks back to the nineteenth century and seeks to rival the works of master potters such as Martha Jane Harris, Billy George, Susannah Owl, and Epp Harris, to name a few. Vitality is in the Catawba tradition. The same energy seems to be waiting to be tapped in other southeastern Indian communities.

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