historic indian pottery

Ceramic vessels made by local Indian women were often used in colonial households. Over 32,000 sherds from more than 800 different vessels were excavated from the Dog River site. Many are Colono ware vessels, brimmed bowls and handled cups made in imitation of European tablewares. Many of the incised, combed, punctated, stamped, and impressed decorations can be attributed to local Native American groups such as the Tomé, Naniaba, Mobilian, Apalachee, Choctaw, and Creek Indians.

Some decorations evolved from long ceramic traditions while others, such as the use of filming, developed as efforts to produce vessels that appealed to European colonists. The wide variety of ceramic wares and decorations suggests trade and interaction with nearly all of the historic Native American living groups around Mobile Bay and in the Mobile-Tensaw delta.

Doctor Lake Incised ceramics (shown here) with curvilinear lines near the vessel rims were made by the Tomé or Naniaba Indians who lived in the upper Mobile-Tensaw delta. Port Dauphin Incised ceramics are similar to Doctor Lake, but were made by the Mobilians, who occupied the lower delta and the Mobile Bay region. Both of these decorations sometimes appear on Colono ware forms.

Choctaw potters decorated bowls with combed designs that have been classified by archaeologists as Chickachae Combed and Kemper Combed pottery.
Kemper Combed designs appear on this handled cup, a form made in imitation of European ceramics.
This brimmed bowl has a Kasita Red Filmed design consisting of red bands enclosed by incised lines, a design attributed to the Apalachee Indians who lived in the Mobile Bay area from around 1704 to 1765.
Apalachee potters also made jars with pinched nodes around the neck. Decorations, which archaeologists call Rectilinear Complicated Stamped designs, often appear on these vessels.
Creek potters decorated bowls with incised linear and curvilinear lines, often with scroll motifs that are known as Ocmulgee Fields Incised pottery. Jars attributed to Creek potters have round, oval, triangular, or rectangular punctated decorations at the rim or on the neck.
Vessels with brushed and corncob roughened surfaces are also considered to be Creek in origin. This fragment of a small jar has corncob impressions.

Copyright © 2013 by The University of South Alabama
Last Updated:
Wednesday, August 14, 2013 2:57 PM