Jag de lag! This is a traditional Haliwa –Saponi greeting taught to us by our friend Senora Lynch. The Franciscan School had the pleasure of hosting artist-in-residence Senora Lynch, an American Indian Potter and member of the Haliwa-Saponi tribe of North Carolina. Senora Lynch is well known for her beautiful pottery that is created via the hand coiling method, covered in white clay, and then etched with a design to tell a unique story. Senora uses her artwork to record her tribe’s oral history and culture. She also uses her art-work as a tool to educate others and overcome common stereotypes regarding American Indians.
Senora Lynch spent two days with the fourth grade students and middle school art elective students, teaching them about pottery and Native American Culture. She relayed the history and culture of her people through beautiful and enchanting stories, all while inviting the children and adults alike to participate and ask questions.
Senora demonstrated to the students the steps to create a turtle from air-dry clay. While creating, students learned about the cultural significance of the turtle to the Haliwa-Saponi tribe. She spoke of how the turtle is a symbol of longevity and asked the students to participate in her tribe’s tradition of giving the turtle away to someone they cared about. Since the turtle represents longevity, she asked each student to give their art away to a loved one with the message, “I hope you live a long and blessed life.” Students immediately began chatting excitedly amongst themselves about who might receive this beautiful, hand-made gift.
This wonderful cultural arts experience was made possible through the generosity of the Home and School Association and the United Arts Council of Wake County. On behalf of our faculty and students, we would like to thank Senora Lynch sharing the gift of her art and culture with us. Keneha! Thank you!
Kayla Kaeding and Maureen Cesari