Origins of Native American Pottery


Origins of Native American Pottery

Every society and culture has a history of ceramics and pottery. The chances of involvement in pottery are much more if the society has an agricultural background. There were many Native Americans who were involved in making pottery and ceramics.

The main origin of American pottery is credited to the Native American societies involved in farming. The Native American people were forced to move by the foreigners and whites but still they carried their culture of creating pottery with them. The birth of pottery in America can be marked as around 1000 B.C. when the American people started farming. In most cases, pottery was used for storage and transportation purposes initially. We are going to discuss some important details about the history of Native American Pottery in this article.

The beginning of pottery in America is purely inspired from utilitarian reasons. Native Americans started using clay pots only after they found that fire can harden clay which can be further used to form useful storage pots. Moreover clay pots were best for keeping rats or any other rodent away from food. This is how Native Americans started making pottery which further transformed in ceramics. Their sole reason for making pots at first was because of their usefulness. The concept of designing came much later. With the development of pottery as an art, most of the potters developed their own unique decoration skills.

There have been significant changes in the way pottery was prepared initially. The manual potter’s wheel has been replaced with the electric wheel and the same is true for kilns used in pottery. Generally small pots are built with manual wheels whereas coils are used for manufacturing large scale pottery. The Native Americans had different patterns and styles that differed from one tribe to another. The only similarity in pottery made by Native American is the fact that these were made with hands only. There are some American tribes who still prepare and use ceramics prepared with only their hands. There are various artists known for their great contributions toward Native American pottery and art.

The pottery prepared by Native Americans was mainly classified into West Coast and Southwest/Pueblo categories. Southwest/Pueblo is the most famous type of Native American pottery which further contains 11 different styles and design patterns. You can find some of these art crafts in your local art museums. Native Americans had a unique style of pottery and prepared different types of ceramics like other different cultures throughout the world. There have been a lot of crafts and pots which have been preserved in museums just to showcase the great Native American pottery technique throughout the future. The symbols carved on Native American pottery used different figures including animals, humans, and sometimes even God. History shows the usage of pottery in different kind of spiritual rituals which makes pottery an important part of Native American history.

Related Articles:

November 25, 2013


Leave a Reply