Native American Traveling Exhibit at UWG

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Office of Institutional Diversity hosted an exhibit of Native American artifacts this week.

The Office of Institutional Diversity hosted an exhibit of Native American artifacts this week.Among the items on display were knives, pottery and handcrafted clubs used in war.

The items were part of a traveling exhibit, which were collected by the Native American Preservation Association of Georgia.

Also known as NAPA, the group visits institutions throughout the state to teach about Native American culture in Georgia and in the United States. The group was formed in 1989 in the Rome, Calhoun and Resaca area.

“We are about preserving and not about diggings,” said Gertrude “Trudy” Dobson, chairman of NAPA’s education and history committee.

“We do not condone diggings. We will try to stop those diggings if we can,” Dobson said.

Among the materials on display was pottery made from Georgia and Mississippi clay made by John Winterhawk, a Muscogee Creek, is from Watkinsville, Ga.

Joey Pierce, who is of Cherokee and Shawnee descent, was on hand to speak to visitors of the exhibit.

Pierce was born in Strawberry Plains in East Tennessee in an era when being of Native American descent was not easy.

“From the time I could remember, two or three years old in Tennessee, I was told be very proud of who you are,” Pierce said. “But don’t tell anyone who you are.”

Pierce’s maternal grandmother was Cherokee, but would not discuss her heritage, he said.

“She would start into it and then change the subject,” Pierce said.

Next up for the Office of Institutional Diversity is the Fair Trade Coffee Tasting for faculty and staff on Nov. 5, in Row Hall, room 212 East, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.