USC Native American Studies Center educates on Catawbas

the University of South Carolina Lancaster The Native American Studies Center will host an online series showcasing traditional art from the Catawba Indian Nation. The series will begin on July 12.

These lectures will give the public the opportunity to learn more about the Catawbas, whose reserve is located in Rock Hill, South Carolina, about 25 miles from Lancaster.

The lectures can be watched live on Facebook at, or Enlarge. Registration links for Zoom sessions will also be on the Facebook page.

Each demonstration will last approximately one hour.

The series begins at 2 p.m. on July 12, with an overview of the history and culture of Catawba by Catawba tribal archivist Ensley Guffrey, according to a press release.

On July 14 at 2:00 pm, Catawba potter and storyteller Keith “Little Bear” Brown will give a demonstration. A screening on July 16 at 2 p.m. will feature the Faye Greiner reed basket weave. And on July 17 at 3 p.m., viewers can watch Monty “Hawk” Branhem, a maker of luck and drums.

The final presentation of the series will take place on July 19 at. 5 p.m. with demonstrations of the Beckee Garris swamp pine needling machine.

This series of visiting traditional artists is made possible through a 2020-2021 South Carolina Arts Commission Folk Life and Traditional Arts grant, according to a press release.

Artist-in-Residence Alex Osborn will also continue his Catawba contemporary art classes at USC Lancaster until August 12, with a gallery presenting his work on August 27 and 28. Details can be found on the Native American Studies website.

Who are the Catawbas?

the Catawbas have lived in South Carolina for centuries. They became the only federally recognized tribe in South Carolina in 1993.

This year, USC Lancaster made an effort to educate the public about the tribe, a story Catawba leaders often say has been forgotten.

“At the non-Catawba community, we’ve been your friends for generations,” Chief Bill Harris said in an interview in April.

The history of Catawba art is rooted in the history of South Carolina, said Stephen Criswell, co-director of Native American Studies.

The Catawba Nation’s pottery-making tradition in York County is the oldest continuing pottery tradition in North America, with artists still making pottery the traditional way from clay around the Catawba River. “Criswell said in a statement. “In addition to ceramics, the Catawbas have a long history of making baskets, drums, flutes and other traditional arts and crafts. ”

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Tobie Nell Perkins works for the Herald in partnership with Report For America, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to safeguarding local news. It covers Chester County, Catawba Indian Nation and General Missions. Tobie is a graduate of the University of Florida and has won awards for his articles from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Florida Society of News Editors.

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