Mississippi Water Jar


Inspired By The Mississippi Period, 1000-1600 A.D.

Very little is known about where the Cherokee people come from... scientifically speaking of course. Ask the Cherokee people themselves and the old ones will give you a migration story that speaks of long distances over a long period of time. There is one thing it seems the scientist and the old ones can agree. The Cherokees came from another place and settled in the place they would call home, the Great Smoky Mountains.

The Mississippi Period in Southeastern tribal life was a time of beautiful works of art and great experimentation. Etchings on shells and gorgets show ornate head pieces of copper, pearls, clay beads and bright feathers. Trade routes were well established. They brought in shells from Florida and the West Indies, obsidian from the northern Rockies and Middle America, pipestone from Wisconsin and exotic feathers from either the Caribbean or Mexico.

The pottery reflected the exuberance and intricacy being born during this time. I consider my pottery, for the most part, to be an extension of the Mississippi Period, which ended about the time of contact with Europeans.

The vessel shown is a combination of old and new. On the bottom sphere of this vessel you can see a pattern called the Friendship weave. It became known by that name relatively late, but the design itself is one of the oldest known.

The southeastern tribal people made baskets first before pottery. When they began making pottery, the first designs were imitations of basket designs. This can be seen here. Around the collar of the vessel is a band with four triangles spaced evenly around the piece. These mark the four directions.




.Mississippi Water Jar Photo