Indigenous Peoples Day Blog Series (3 of 5) By Guest Blogger Ron Carlos, Piipaash Potter
I decided to share a very small portion of the Piipaash Creation Story because many times the dominant culture forgets there were people living in the Americas long before the first European set foot on this continent. As Indigenous People, we are still here and we have our own stories about the world and its inhabitants.
And as an Indigenous Person living in the American Southwest, I can see all the mountains, rivers, plants and animals spoken of in our creation. It is an awesome feeling to know the location of our creation. But it is a very humbling feeling to actually stand on the “Tall Mountain” named as the place of creation for all life.
I’m going to say “Sorry.” in advance for such a short excerpt but the story can be very long.
In the Piipaash Creation all living things were created from clay. The elements, plants and animals were each made and given their time and specific place on the earth.
“The People” were the last creations made by the Brother Creators. The two brothers made their own version of what they thought was the best type of person.
Once each Brother finished their people, they showed each other their creations. The Brothers began to squabble as to which of their creations were better.
“The People” watched and listened as the Brother Creators argued. For this reason, all people have a little jealousy in them.
Ron Carlos is descended from both Pima and Maricopa tribes and is an enrolled tribal member of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. Ron produces “paddle and anvil" pottery, which is a unique style of pottery making and indicative of the southern Arizona tribes; i.e. Maricopa, Pima, Tohono O’Odham.
"All my pottery is constructed from all natural materials. All clays and pigments are hand dug and hand processed into a workable paste. Also… all my vessels are wood fired in an open pit using mesquite and /or cottonwood bark.
The pottery knowledge and skills were taught to me by the late Phyllis Cerna and her daughter Avis Pinon, both from Gila River Indian Community District #7 - Maricopa Colony.
My pottery journey began in June 1994 and for the past 10+ years I have been demonstrating and teaching classes at various museums and Native American Communities throughout Arizona."