The People:
Amanda Swimmer

Amanda Sequoyah Swimmer (born 1921) learned a lot of what she knows about pottery-making through trial and error. While she did not have the benefit of being raised in an extended pottery family, she did learn some of her skills while working at the Oconaluftee Indian Village. Most of her skills, however, were learned through trial and error. She experimented with clay construction and firing and developed a method of using different woods to achieve color variation on finished pottery pieces. In 1994, Swimmer received a North Carolina Heritage Award, the state’s highest honor for those who carry on cultural traditions. In 2002, she was instrumental in the formation of the Cherokee Potters Guild. In 2005, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of North Carolina–Asheville.

Read more about Amanda Swimmer on the Cherokee Traditions website.