Lower Sioux 4

Production Date: 
Run Time: 
home video, documentary

Establishing shot: Manager of the Lower Sioux Pottery, standing behind the counter of the shop in front of the work made at the pottery

Named locations:  Lower Sioux Indian Pottery, Pipestone, Bishop Whipple Mission, The Quarry, Washington D.C., Thunderbird Motel in Minneapolis, Minnesota State University, Mankato, Minnesota River Valley, Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), Santa Fe NM

Major themes covered:
The pottery manager gives the background of the establishment of the Lower Sioux Pottery.  The site was originally the Bishop Whipple Mission School, where the children attended classes in the NDN community.  Later the school was closed and the children were sent to public school out of NDN country. When confronted with the question of what to do with the school building, Ted Listern, an advisor of the people, suggested they utilize the clay on the land and turn the school into a pottery.  Not realizing the arduous and expensive process of processing clay for firing, the tribe ended up having to use clay from another area of Minnesota and processed in Bloomington, Minnesota.  The community at the time of the video (1979) is looking for funding to process their own clay. The pottery wheels are made and provided by the students at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

The manager of the shop expounds on the history and past management of the shop. The community looks to the shop to provide revenue and jobs. At the time of the interview the shop manager talks about a $10,000 small business loan the community hopes will help create employment for more people in the community.  The community is very proud of the artists who work in the pottery, firing pots, beading, pipestone pipes and crosses. 

Individuals Named: Rita Good Thunder, Bessy Iron, Joe Good Thunder, Wilbur Bears Heart Jr., John Dow, Charles Eastman, Howard Hughes, Lone Eagle, Tom Columbus, Chief Little Crow

Native language spoken: No tribal language spoken.
Other notes: Since the closing of the pottery in 1996, art and artful crafts can be purchased 84 miles out of Pipestone at The Tipi Maka Duta (Red Clay House) Trade Post.

See also on AIFG:

Lower Sioux 1 http://aifg.arizona.edu/film/lower-sioux-1

Lower Sioux 2 http://aifg.arizona.edu/film/lower-sioux-2

Lower Sioux 3 http://aifg.arizona.edu/film/lower-sioux-3

Lower Sioux 5 http://aifg.arizona.edu/film/lower-sioux-5

--Kari Quiballo, 2013