Southern Appalachian Digital Collections

Western Carolina University (20) View all

Pottery: vase

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  • This undated earthenware vase was made by Amanda Sequoyah Swimmer, a self-taught potter of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The youngest of 12 children, she was born in 1921 and raised in the Straight Fork section of Big Cove, a remote section of the Qualla Boundary. 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 sharp stick. The subtle coloration on her pots comes from burning them with different types of wood. The bottom of this pot is stamped with "Oconaluftee Village,” indicating that Swimmer made it while she worked there.