Southern Appalachian Digital Collections

Western Carolina University (3) View all
  • Cherokee Traditions (144)
  • Craft Revival (755)
  • Picturing Appalachia (4)
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University of North Carolina Asheville (0) View all
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  • Forestry in Western North Carolina (0)
  • Grove Park Inn Photograph Collection (0)
  • Isaiah Rice Photograph Collection (0)
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  • Picturing Asheville and Western North Carolina (0)

Amanda Swimmer

  • wcu_cherokee_traditions-519.jp2
  • This undated photograph was taken while Amanda Swimmer was demonstrating pottery making using the coil technique in the tradition of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The youngest of 12 children, Amanda Sequoyah Swimmer (b. 1921) was born and raised in the Straight Fork section of Big Cove, a remote section of the Qualla Boundary. A self-taught potter, for many years, she worked at Oconaluftee Indian Village where she was originally hired to demonstrate finger weaving. She quickly switched to pottery, learning from fellow demonstrators. Swimmer uses traditional techniques and tools, never a potter's wheel. She presses designs onto the surface of the clay with wooden paddles or incises linear designs using a sharp stick. The subtle coloration on her pots comes from burning them with different types of wood.