It is not surprising to find this series at the start of the 20th Century as at this time there were tours by Native Americans to Europe and there was much interest in them and their way of life. Doulton’s series was introduced in 1908 and withdrawn in 1949, and whilst it is a long production period examples of this pattern are hard to find today, with rack plates the most easily found. In 1938 the border designs were given additional colouring, thus revamping the series.
The fictional character Hiawatha from Longfellow’s poem The Song of Hiawatha is the tale of a Native American hero, although originally he was to be called Manabozho. Longfellow’s character was a medicine man, defender of and beacon for his people.
The name is taken from Hiawatha (Born: 1525 – Died: 1595) who was an early pre-colonial Native American leader and depending on differing sources, was a leader of the Onondaga, or the Mohawk or perhaps even both.
As well as rack plates, chargers, tankards, tobacco jars and dressing table sets have been found featuring the five recorded designs that make up the range, all with appropriate Longfellow quotations often referring to Haiwatha’s wisdom or else his famous belt. The borders are typically elaborate for early designs and feature wigwams.