A new book, “Cherokee Pottery: From the Hands of Our Elders,” has been published and was presented to members of the Tribal Council of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians on April 14. The book has been a collaborative effort between Western Carolina University’s Hunter Library, the Qualla Arts & Crafts Mutual and the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.
The book traces the designs and patterns of Cherokee pottery as they have developed over centuries and into contemporary times. The 160-page book, published in March, contains both archival and new images of the region, pots and potters. The book was written by Anna Fariello, associate research professor at Western Carolina University, who also authored “Cherokee Basketry” in 2009.
“Cherokee Pottery” is the second book in the “From the Hands of our Elders” series, which is funded in part by Cherokee Preservation Foundation (www.cpfdn.org).
The book is $12.99 and available from Qualla Arts & Crafts Mutual, the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, local booksellers and online. Qualla Arts & Crafts Mutual will host a book signing on May 20 from 2 to 5 p.m. Proceeds from the book will cover printing costs, and any profits will go to Qualla Arts & Crafts Mutual and/or the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.
Another 200 copies of the books will be presented to Cherokee Central Schools so that teachers and teaching assistants can teach students about the EBCI’s pottery traditions.
Fariello also recently was awarded a grant from the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership that will fund an online component of mountain potteries and Cherokee potters as part of the Hunter Library’s Craft Revival Project and the creation of a trail brochure covering both Cherokee and mountain potteries. The Craft Revival Project (http://wcu.edu/craftrevival) tells the story of the regional movement to create handicrafts and preserve traditions that took place in the southern Appalachians from the 1890s to the 1940s. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians played a significant role in the craft revival.
With a grant from the State Library of North Carolina, Fariello originally set out to expand the information about Cherokee crafts available on the project’s site, which chronicles the movement and its impact on Western North Carolina through text and images. Then she worked with Qualla Arts & Crafts (www.quallaartsandcrafts.org and the Museum of the Cherokee Indian (www.cherokeemuseum.org) with the purpose of making their collections available online.
Support from the Cherokee Preservation Foundation enabled the two Cherokee cultural organizations to do additional research and documentation, which led to the decision to create the series of books.