Pahponee Kickapoo Potter
Pahponee is descendent of the Kickapoo and Potawatomi Nations. She is
active in her people's traditional and contemporary lifestyle through religious
and social customs. Pahponee involves herself continually with the creating
of various clay vessels and forms.
Pahponee, or Snow Woman, received her Indian name from the elders of
the Kickapoo tribe when she was 21. "I don't know why they saw the
snow in me," she says. Perhaps the elders envisioned the purity and
simplicity of her life. She is also proud of her German and Irish ancestors.
Before developing her own pottery style, Pahponee imitated the old designs
she saw in museums. She soon realized that creating her own style was more
rewarding than replicating the old. "I am a contemporary clay artist,"
she says with passion. She uses whatever works for her, including wheel-throwing
and commercial clays. Much of her decorative pottery is created by dung
firing. The dung is generously donated by buffalo, horse and cattle.
In many ways, Pahponee's pottery reflects the lives of modern Native
Americans. "Most Indian tribes have thousands of years of tradition,
and even though we drive modern cars and live in modern houses, and watch
TV, we still believe tradition is very important."