Brad took the day off yesterday and we visited the Catawba Indian Reservation in Rock Hill, SC. The Catawba Indian Nation is the only Indian tribe in South Carolina recognized by the federal government. The word Catawba means “a variety of purplish grape,” and the Catawba Indians were named after the Catawba River.
We wandered through the small museum in the cultural center. There was a hand-carved black bowl on display that also had a black snake carved into the top and side of it. This was a storage bowl for food. Carving the snake into the bowl tricked any rodents who might want to steal the food for themselves into thinking the snake was real! As a result, their food was safe! Another item of interest on display was a Wedding Jug that had two necks. The bride and groom would each sip from it, then throw it over their shoulders. Depending upon the number of pieces the jug broke into, they believed that determined the number of children the happy couple would have.
After a picnic lunch of more dessert than nutrition, we hiked on a trail leading from the cultural center to the Catawba River. Along the way, Brad spotted a fallen tree and led us all off the trail to walk across it. It was a rotten tree, and I was a little concerned it would fall under our weight, but we survived! As we neared the river, we could hear the sound of rushing water. It reminded me of our time last summer with Aunt Betty tubing down the Davidson River!
We also saw a replica of a typical Indian home made of wooden planks and red clay, a dugout (canoe), and a round house with a garden. Before the days of scarecrows, the Indians built stands where the women and children would stand watching for wildlife invading their gardens. If one was spotted, they were chased away when the Indians threw stones at them!
It was fun, but we all broke a sweat. Lindsay reminded me that it’s still officially winter, but it was 84 degrees! With a stop in the gift shop for small souvenirs of our day, we headed to the car for home, with the air conditioning full blast!