Amazing Clay

Caddo women made incredible pottery in many shapes, sizes, and designs. They used the coil method to form the pots. After the pots dried for a few days, sharp sticks were used to "engrave" designs on some of them. After polishing with a smooth stone, the vessels were fired in an open wood fire to "bake" them and make them strong.
Clay creatures! Some Caddo potters used birds and animals in their pottery designs. These "tailrider" bowls have animal heads (such as a turkey) on one side of the rim. Some have human-like riders perched on the opposite side.
Dogs, frogs, deer, and other animals were models for Caddo pots. The dog vessel on the left is from a Caddo site in Arkansas dated to around 600 years ago. The" tailrider" bowl on the right seems to have a bear on one side and some strange animal (bird?) head on the other.
These odd-looking pots have a secret. When you shake them, they make a rattling noise! Want to hear it? The rattle is made by small pebbles baked into the nubby, hollow handles on the sides. These bowls with their strange sound may have been carried by priests or leaders in special ceremonies.
A face from the past? This "head pot" shows a face, perhaps that of a person who lived long ago. Making pots that resembled heads was an idea used by people who lived along the Mississippi to the east, but the engraved design is pure Caddo.
The elaborate designs on this bowl resemble a crawling snake. Notice the fine scratch designs in between the loops. The scratches probably were made with a pointed stick..
Two pots in one? Caddo potters are famous for their creative and unusual shapes.
Intricate designs such as this were made using only bare hands and simple tools made of wood and stone. Caddo pottery was prized by people near and far.
Does this bottle look like a seashell to you? The Caddo traded with people on the coast for real marine shells, such as the lightening whelk, and perhaps copied shell designs with their pottery.

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