3/28/11

The beauty of Cherokee and its people

Our time in Cherokee came to a quick end.....had to load up this morning and head out.  But we took our time and went back to a few stores to do a little more shopping and sightseeing.



I love the contrast of colors in this creekside picture!


I wanted to bring this rock home! Ha ha!
I LOVE mountain rocks!

With all the rain, it was very foggy.  Hard to see those beautiful mountains :(




This place provided the most special moment of today!
Let me explain:
Scott and I like to buy items that are hand-made by the Cherokee, so we went in the Qualla Arts & Crafts museum.  It is a guild for Cherokee potters and craftsmen who are enrolled members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.  I was looking at the pottery when I noticed a picture of a Cherokee that looked very familiar.  Remember this woman?

Yep....Amanda Swimmer.  She is one of the most well known potters among the Cherokee people!  Born on October 27, 1921, she is a mother of seven children and has been working with clay for 32 years.  Several members of her family also have some of their work on display here.  So nothing would do but for us to own a piece of her pottery!

Amanda Swimmer was employed with the Oconoluftee Indian Village for 33 years before retiring.  She uses traditional techniques and tools and has NEVER used a potter's wheel.  Her designs are affixed by using wood and bone paddles, sea shells, and smooth rocks.  She still uses the original open clay pit and has won many prizes for her pottery.  There are also displays of her work in Washington, D.C., New Mexico, and Raleigh, N.C.  She has chosen to preserve a traditional art of Cherokee People, and at times produces up to a thousand pieces of pottery in one summer! 

This is the piece we chose sitting on our mantel.
It's the Cherokee Wedding Vase, used in wedding ceremonies as a reminder of the essence of living.



We bought a few other hand-made items for ourselves this weekend:

I really liked these earrings and necklace....and I HAD to have me some feather earrings!


Scott bought two necklaces:
one is made from the leather of a deer and the other is made from elk bone, glass beads, and a coyote claw?
Yep....he was thrilled!


a leather bracelet

a side note: This bowl was also made by Cherokee, but we bought it last summer in Oklahoma

Well, that's all for now.  I've got one other post to share with you tomorrow about our time at the Foxfire Museum.  Until then......... :)

3 comments:

Melissa@Little Log House Chronicles said...

I absolutely LOVE the Cherokee Wedding Vase. I love that Amanda Swimmer produces up to 100 pieces of pottery in one summer. Can you imagine?! I bet she has some fabulous stories to tell. Thanks for sharing.

Melissa@Little Log House Chronicles said...

I meant 1000. Typo.

Lynn said...

We were so excited to actually buy a piece of her pottery! I'll have to share the details about the vase and what it means in another post.

Thanks for the Stylish Blogger Award. I'll try to get that info. posted soon :)