LANCASTER, S.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – “Every leaf and rock, all have spirit. There’s a spirit to the air and the sun.”

How often do you look at your hands and allow your eyes to take in the lines, cracks, and the story they tell?

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It’s with his own hands that Keith Brown, Little Bear, shares the story of his Catawba ancestors.

“We have to take it and form it, just like we’re formed in life. Scrape away the rough edges. We have to get rid of rough edges,” said Keith.

It’s a delicate process, taking clay from the earth and turning it into beautiful pieces of Native American pottery

Over at the Native American Studies Center in Lancaster, there are videos and pictures of Keith’s family and the legacy he’s part of.

“My great grandfather and grandmother,” said Keith, pointing to a black and white photo of two people making pottery.

He said pottery is part of his family. He feels called to continue. He made his first piece of pottery in 1976.

“It’s an obligation,” said Keith.

It’s an art that’s rare now, but Keith said, he always knew he would be guided back to the earth and back to home.

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“I chased other things because I was lost without it,” said Keith.

Pottery has taught him a lesson about life.

“A lot of times it evolves into what it needs to be,” said Keith.

A lesson about patients and acceptance.

“It doesn’t always shine a whole lot, some more than others, then put it to the test and put it in the fire,” said Keith.

And it’s through his hands that the story continues on for the next generation,