Native American Studies Center hosts Catawba Nation Traditional Arts online series

June 29, 2021

This July, USC Lancaster’s Native American Studies Center will host a series of online talks and demonstrations highlighting the traditional arts of the Catawba Nation.

The series begins Monday, July 12 at 2 p.m., with an overview of Catawba history and culture by Catawba Tribal Archivist Ensley Guffey. Art demonstrations begin Wednesday, July 14 at 2 p.m. with Catawba potter and storyteller Keith “Little Bear” Brown, continuing with reed basket maker Faye Greiner on Friday, July 16 at 2 p.m., and flute and drum maker Monty “Hawk” Branham on Saturday, July 17 at 3 p.m. The series concludes Monday, July 19 at 5 p.m. with demonstrations by longleaf pine needle basket maker Beckee Garris.

Faye Greiner, pictured, will be one of many artists demonstrating their work during the Catawba Traditional Arts Online Series, hosted by the Native American Studies Center beginning on Monday, July 12.  Here, Greiner creates a reed basket during a previous event in the Center’s galleries.

Each demonstration and discussion will last about an hour and will include a Q&A session.

The presentations will be facilitated by Native American Studies Co-Director Dr. Stephen Criswell, who says that the Catawba made pottery around the same time the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids.

“The pottery-making tradition of the Catawba Nation in York County, S.C. is the oldest continuous pottery tradition in North America, with artists still making pottery in the traditional manner with clay from around the Catawba River,” said Criswell. “In addition to ceramics, the Catawba have long made baskets, drums, flutes, and other traditional arts and crafts.”

Highlighting the cultural traditions of the Catawba Nation, the Native American Studies Center is hosting a Catawba Traditional Arts Online Series beginning Monday, July 12 at 2 p.m. Keith “Little Bear” Brown will demonstrate and discuss his work with Catawba pottery as part of the virtual line-up.

This visiting traditional artist series is made possible through a 2020-2021 South Carolina Arts Commission Folklife and Traditional Arts Grant.

Artist events can be viewed live via Facebook or Zoom, using the registration links that will be provided on the Center’s Facebook page (

For more information, call the Native American Studies Center at (803) 313-7172, or visit