Published on October 21, 2014 by Amy
The Caddo occupied the area of what is now eastern Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma in the Red River bend region. For more than 1,000 years, from roughly 800 to 1850, they produced distinctive, artistic pottery that continues to be sought-after today.
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Caddo potters fashioned two types of vessels–coarse ware, with thick, unadorned walls, to store food and water; and fine ware, with thin, decorated walls, to serve food and use in rituals. Caddo potters earlier than 1400 used relatively few decorative techniques and preferred curvilinear, rectilinear and horizontal designs.
From 1400 onward, Caddo potters developed techniques such as adding appliques and brushing. Designs included intricate scrolls, circles, ovals, triangles and ladders. New forms incorporated the shapes of animals.
The pottery tradition of the Caddo did not survive forced moves and the disruption of their traditional way of life. By the time of the last forced emigration into Oklahoma in the 19th century, pottery making had ceased.
In 1991, a Caddo woman from Oklahoma, Jeri Redcorn, was inspired to revive the pottery tradition. Her vase “Intertwining Scrolls” was among the pieces of American Indian pottery chosen by Michelle Obama for the White House in 2009.