Charlotte Reith first travelled to Myanmar (Burma) in 1991 with a small tour group to study traditional papermaking. She was an experienced potter, and after visiting a ceramic workshop in Shan State, her research went off in a new direction. Reith returned to Myanmar annually for the next 17 years, visiting numerous pottery-making villages. She researched the impressive diversity of forming methods used by village potters in different regions of the country. In addition to collecting pots and pottery-making tools like the wooden paddle shown below, Ms. Reith took more than 10,000 slides, made films of potters at work, and published several articles on her work. Her collection and associated documentation came to the Museum in 2012. It is a valuable resource for studying the techniques and regional variability of earthenware pottery production in this rapidly changing region.
In honor of the University of Michigan’s 2017 bicentennial, we are celebrating the remarkable archaeological and ethnographic collections and rich legacy of research and teaching at the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology by posting one entry a day for 200 days. The entries will highlight objects from the collections, museum personalities, and UMMAA expeditions. The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology is also posting each day for 200 days on Twitter and Facebook (follow along at #KMA200). After the last post, an exhibition on two centuries of archaeology at U-M opens at the Kelsey. Visit the exhibit—a joint project of the UMMAA and the Kelsey—from October 18, 2017 to May 27, 2018.