by Joanna Underwood Blackburn
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The water jar represents women as both ‘water bearers’ and chief pottery makers of the southeast. The Chickasaw people were a matrilineal society in which a woman served in many roles. As with “oka” (water), her activities were centered on sustaning life in her family and community. Clay pots were made into containers called water jars or bottles used for carrying water.
The “Loksi” (turtle) design featured on the front of the water jar, like so many other animals in our natural world, represented a certain kind of wisdom and strength.