Scandinavian Children and The Myth of Nemadji

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From time to time, we come across some very interesting descriptions of Nemadji pottery and its history.

From this point on, I will be sharing those we find.  This one from Ebay conjures up tiny little Scandinavian children working their fingers to the bone, producing Nemadji Pottery. I also especially enjoy the Native American mention.

“Today, many people associate Nemadji Pottery with Native American crafts. This is not the case. Nemadji pottery was actually produced by children of Scandinavian immigrants. Nemadji Tile and Pottery started production in Moose Lake, Minnesota, in 1923. Originally producing Nemadji tile, Nemadji Pottery was produced during the Depression to fuel tourist markets, usually in the western and northeastern United States. The pottery was marketed as “resembling” ancient Indian works. This is when Nemadji pottery became known as “Indian” pottery. Nemadji Pottery was made using clays from the Nemadji River, thus the “Indian” name. Nemadji is a word from the Ojibwa, also known as Chippewa, language.
              Nemadji Pottery is very distinctive in look. It is typified by its “swirled paint” look. This look was developed by Eric Hellman in 1929. Hellman went on to work for Van Briggle Pottery before World War II and opened the Garden of the Gods Pottery in Colorado Springs in 1950.”

 

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