Gallery of Traditional Art
Every piece of traditional tells a story. This clay cooking pot is made in the style that was used by Choctaw ancestors in the 1600s. It was made from hand-dug clay, mixed with burned, crushed freshwater mussel shells to keep it from cracking. It was shaped by hand into an even, thin, lightweight form. It was fired to between 1000 and 1200 degrees in a open bonfire using only the human senses to gauge the temperature. Now, this thin, light weight vessel is used for cooking foods right on top of the fire, like the blackberry dumplings pictured here. It cooks as efficiently as cast iron, and if properly cared for, it will last for years.
For us, making and using traditional art is an important connection to land and heritage. It has always been a part of our lives (especially for Ian). We use these objects in our effortd to revitalize Indigenous Choctaw food and culture. We collect most of our raw materials ourselves, on-farm whenever possible. We use traditional techniques. We work in traditional styles without directly copying old designs. Every piece is fully functional. Through our day jobs, we've taught hundreds of traditional arts classes in the community for Choctaw Nation. Now, some of the students have become teachers.
In the galleries below, we'd like to share a few of the traditional art pieces that we make. These pieces are not for sale. We're sharing them here to draw awareness to these art forms and because they are an important part of what we do at Nan Awaya Farm.