Sara Ayers Photograph
Sara Lee Harris Ayers was born on the Catawba Reservation on August 22, 1919. Ayers is the daughter of David "Toad" Harris, Sr (Chief of the Catawba Nation from 1905-1917) and Dorothy Price. At age five, Sara watched her older sisters work with the clay and soon developed her own skill. At age nine, Sara's pieces were already being sold at the Cherokee Indian Reservation in North Carolina. By 1939, Sara's pottery was well recognized throughout the South-East. In 1946, Sara married Foxx Ayers, also a Catawba. Sara and Foxx reared their children on the reservation until 1962, before moving to West Columbia. For many years, Sara and Foxx worked together to dig the clay from historical sites and transport to their homes. Sara Ayers passed away in 2002 at age 83.
In the 1980's, Sara Ayers had the honor of being named as one of the "Outstanding Native American Artists" in a ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC. In 1989, Sara was awarded the South Carolina Folk Heritage Award by South Carolina Legislature and received a certificate from the Lieutenant Governor. In 2002, Sara was nominated by the Eastern Cherokee, Southern Iroquios & United Tribes of South Carolina, Inc to receive the South Carolina Woman's Achievement Award.
Catawba Indian Reservation