March 08, 2011

Uncommon Folk includes Catawba potter

Catawba potter in documentary on "Uncommon" artists

By Andrew DysThere are billions of people in the world. Only a few thousand of those people are members of the Catawba Indian tribe. Of those, just a couple of handfuls are Catawba potters.

Of those handful, maybe the most recognized master potter still alive is the one and only Margaret Robbins, who lives in the last house on the last road on the Catawba reservation in a house that has cats and engine blocks outside the front porch.

Her handmade pots, using only clay dug from the Catawba River that runs within earshot of her ancestral and present home, and crafted by hand without a wheel as the Catawba have done since before there was a place called America or South Carolina, are in museums and private collections across oceans.

She still makes the pots at her kitchen counter.

Thursday night on South Carolina ETV, a documentary about six people in this state of 4 million-plus souls who forge real things from their brains and hands, called "Uncommon Folk," will air. Robbins is one of the six.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Native Documentaries and News.

Below:  "Catawba potter Margaret Robbins, right, and her daughter Paige Childers."

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