Native American and Indigenous Engagement at Emory

Native American and Indigenous Engagement at Emory

Emory Wheel Discusses the “Caddo Ceramics: Traditions and Trajectories” Lecture

On September 24th, the Emory Wheel released an article covering the September 15th lecture “Caddo Ceramics: Traditions and Trajectories,” led by Chase Kahwinhut Earles at the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Art. To read the entire review click here.

Segment of the article:

Earles’ work as an ambassador of his cultural identity is valuable and necessary, especially as Caddo pottery was almost lost to time when a matriarch of the tribe and the last Caddo potter stopped making Caddo pottery in 1908. Knowledge of this rich artistic history began to disappear as the Caddo tribe was undermined and impeded by colonial powers and conquistador diseases. Earles has used some of his pottery to make a critical commentary on the restriction of said cultural Indigenous knowledge.

Slide during Earles’ lecture featuring his “Restricted Emergence” ceramic artwork.

In order to understand and celebrate Caddo Indigenous knowledge, Earles’ lecture focused on the history of this pottery, the Caddo people as a whole and his own evolution as an artist.

Understanding the role and processes of pottery in the Caddo tribe is and was a large part of Earles’ own constructing process, as he had to learn these ways before he could faithfully produce pottery himself. While he was trained in drawing and painting at Savannah College of Art and Design, he worked with archeologists and Caddo tribe members to rediscover the detailed art of Caddo pottery. Earles digs and dries out his own clay, hand builds the pots without a wheel and then fires them in open wood fires. As somebody who tried to hand mold clay pottery in my technical art history course, I can attest that this process is insanely difficult.