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Catawba Indian Pottery, Catawba Indian Pottery, 0817313834, 0-8173-1383-4, 978-0-8173-1383-8, 9780817313838, , , Catawba Indian Pottery, 0817350616, 0-8173-5061-6, 978-0-8173-5061-1, 9780817350611, , , Catawba Indian Pottery, 0817381686, 0-8173-8168-6, 978-0-8173-8168-4, 9780817381684,

Catawba Indian Pottery
The Survival of a Folk Tradition

Quality Paper
2003. 248 pp.
978-0-8173-5061-1
Price:  $34.95 s
E Book
2008. 240 pp.
978-0-8173-8168-4
Price:  $34.95 d

With a Foreword by William Harris

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 collected and 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 or, in other words, he traces the Catawba pottery traditions. 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 protohistoric period. In addition, the author details particular techniques of the representative potters—factors such as clay selection, tool use, decoration, and firing techniques—which influence their styles.


Thomas John Blumer is a retired ethnohistorian and author of Bibliography of the Catawba. William Harris is a respected leader of the Catawba Indian Nation.

"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 changing Catawba economy from the 18th and continuing into the 21st century."—David G. Moore,  Warren Wilson College


"Focuses on the 20th century ethnohistory of Catawba pottery and the techniques by which it is made. . . . . Blumer's description of the history and technique of Catawba pottery is an important documentation of that group, especially from 1970 to the end of the century. His detailed recording of individual potters, their work, and their memories is an invaluable resource. For those who study indigenous pottery traditions in the Americas, this is a valuable addition to the literature."— Museum Anthropology