Pottery talk offers cultural connection

Pottery talk offers cultural connection

Courtesy Dr. Ian Thompson

Pottery talk offers cultural connection

Amye Buckley

The art of creating Choctaw pottery was nearly lost for the last century.

Today – illustrating with pottery pieces, raw materials and tools – Dr. Ian Thompson, Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act coordinator of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, will speak at 2 p.m. in the Spiva Coffee Shop.

“For me what’s important is the traditional knowledge that’s imbedded in it,” Thompson said. “And certain interactions with the natural environment that you certainly don’t get by going to Wal-Mart and getting Styrofoam.”

Thompson’s talk is the first of several events sponsored by the Native American Student Association to recognize November as Native American Heritage Month.

“People will get a little slice of what the Native community is like,” said Terrance Feathers, senior psychology major.

Feathers organized the event as a demonstration of the Native American community in the area. Thompson begins his pottery by digging and working the clay before a traditional firing process.

Thompson researched pottery from archeological sites and applied the techniques to his own work.

“People who are interested in traditional pottery – be it Choctaw or European or whatever will be able to see certain techniques that are common between a lot of different peoples,” Thompson said.

“When I sit around the fire with my family eating out of traditional pottery, to me that’s just something that’s really amazing, something that hasn’t been done since my great-great-great-grandparents,” Thompson said. “It’s something that civilization took away that’s been taken back by Choctaw people.”