Earles, Chase Kawinhut -“Land Back” Jar
Chase “Kawinhut” Earles is one of the few Caddo potters working today. He has created a series inspired by Indigenous Futurism, Star Wars, and historic Caddo vessels and designs. The figure is a jar, inspired by the fallen AT-AT in Star Wars. The use of it as a jar is based on the historic Caddo figurative vessels. It is stone polished and has the “graffiti” wording on it. It has amazing detail in the figurative part of the vessel. It is signed on the side “Kawinhut”. The name “Kawinhut” is important, as the last Caddo potter, Winhut, passed away in 1908 and Chase is continuing in her tradition of working with the clay and so his name is the masculine derivation of this family name. Chase’s Indigenous Futurism work is a creative and exciting part of his creative art and is used to educate about Caddo pottery forms and designs. This is an exceptional new piece by Chase. It is entitled, “Land Back”. Chase says of this piece:
“I was inspired by growing up in Oklahoma and El Reno around trains, graffiti, and living in Atlanta, seeing all the graffiti there. This piece represents the fall of machines of war. This is illustrated by Native arrows either taking down the bull or being shot at the fallen offender, then graffitied with “Land Back” and my given Caddo name, “Kahwinhut.” The entire piece includes a spout because it is a Caddo effigy pot. A modern interpretation of vessels our ancestors would create to represent things found in their environment…or now in our inner city life.”
The Caddo were a tribal group throughout the Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana areas. Chase draws inspiration from the ancient Caddo pieces and yet they are not replicas. The connection in the ancient work is in the clay, firing, and shapes. He is primarily self-taught both as a potter and in his research of the Caddo ceramic past. He has sought out the clay sources and each piece is coil built. They are then slipped with a clay and mussel shell mixture and then burnished three times. The result is a shiny surface with flecks of shell reflecting light. Each piece is then pit-fired which not only hardens the clay but gives them fire clouds and color variations on the surface. After they are fired Chase etches into the surface of the clay to create intricate designs. The delicate designs are almost a surprise considering the hardness of the clay after the firing.