The Hopi Nation is located in Northeastern Arizona, approximately in the center of the Navajo Nation. The people live on the tips of three high fingers that jut south from the main land-form, Black Mesa, and in the valleys adjacent to these "fingers." The Hopi villages atop these three fingers are conveniently called First Mesa, Second Mesa, and Third Mesa. The center for Hopi pottery artists is in Hano, one of three villages atop First Mesa, the eastern most mesa, and especially in the village below it, Polacca.
Hopi pottery is made from local clays that typically fire to a color ranging from a light cream to medium buff. Before firing, the potters polish the clay and then apply vegetal and mineral paints for the designs. Families using this technique are among the Nampeyo Family and the Chapella Family. There is one group, the Navasie Family, who apply a slip to the Hopi clay, producing a polished white surface, with vegetal paint designs. Many of the Hopi pottery designs have been adapted from shards of pottery made in the 15th and 16th centuries, a classic period of Hopi pottery.
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Rainy has been a potter for more than thirty years, and very active during the last ten years. She was taught by her mother, Helen Naha, who was known as Feather Woman. Rainy signs all of her work with the feather used by her mother, plus her name, "Rainy;" so there is no mistaking the potter. Her work is primarily Hopi clay with a white slip applied before the polychrome designs, sometimes known as Walpi Polychrome. All of her pieces are made using traditional clay, paints, and methods of forming and firing. Occasionally Rainy will make a piece reminiscent of her mother's work. From the beginning, Rainy has been an innovator and a designer of her own style. Almost every year, she comes up with a totally new design to stretch her imagination, and to give her market a fresh opportunity. Rainy, a Hopi-Tewa, lives near Polacca. However, she works at her mother's old home, some 20 miles south of Polacca, and below the south rim of Awatovi Mesa. She has won numerous awards at such shows as the Santa Fe Indian Market and the Heard Museum annual show.
Item# P949 -Rainy Naha, Hopi-Tewa.
Every year, Rainy makes a couple of her Solstice designs, as in this spectacular piece. The Hopi ceremonial year is timed with the moon, not the sun. Here, her emphasis is on the four cycles of the moon, with stars. Other Hopi symbols include water, clouds/rain, kiva steps, migration, man/woman, the four directions, tapestries, and more. Click the pictures to see a larger view of this complex design. For her interpretation of these symbols, as used on a similar piece of pottery, click here. This is indeed a collector's piece. Look at it carefully.
Size: 3" high by 5" diameter.
Price: $1,000 SOLD.
Item# P719 -Rainy Naha, Hopi-Tewa.
This style of her polychrome jars, Rainy calls her "ancestors design." In this style, she intertwines and reverses her primary elements. This one she calls "embracing eagles." She has divided the jar into five segments, each a mirror the others. In each of the segments, the centerpieces are embracing hawks surrounded by both Hopi symbols and prehistoric shard patterns. Visually, she has created a composition of very intricate geometric designs. Each of these designs represent an idea to Rainy: water, birds, the four directions, man and woman, kiva murals, and more.
Size: 3 1/2" high by 7 5/8" diameter.
Price: $2,900 SOLD.
Item# P720 -Rainy Naha, Hopi-Tewa.
In this jar, Rainy shows the Hopi Butterfly Maiden on the front, and repeated on back. In Hopi, this is the Palhik Mana, and she appears in many of the Hopi social dances held during the winter months. She is often portrayed as grinding corn or one of the corn grinding maidens. As part of the Hopi wedding ceremony, Hopi maidens grind corn to show that they have learned to run the household. On the tablita, or head-dress, Rainy has trimmed the ends with the Naha trade-mark feather. This is a similar signature design used by her mother, Feather Woman or Helen Naha, and still used by Rainy who adds an "R" to show it is her work.
Size: 5 1/2" high by 4 3/4" diameter.
P950 -Rondina Huma, Hopi-Tewa.
This jar has several hundred shard designs around the outside, and is a classic, Rondina style. As the years have passed, her shards have been getting smaller and smaller. Here, definitely, is a collectors piece.
When we acquired this pot, we asked Rondina why so much. Her reply, "I work by the hour, not by the piece." (Put us in our place.) In 2001, at the Santa Fe Indian Market, Rondina received the "Artists Choice" award for a 10" diameter jar, decorated with her unique and famous pot-shard designs. (This award is given the artist with the highest number of votes from his/her peers exhibiting at the show. It is an award just under the "Best of Show" award.) In 2002, her piece won the Best of Class award for pottery, a class topped only by Best of Show. Her work continues to garner acclaim, and her prices keep climbing.
It is surprising to know that Rondina never received any formal training in making pottery and was actually encouraged to begin the art by a neighbor. Her detail work was unbelievable, but typical. Rondina regularly hikes into the nearby Sikyatki prehistoric ruins. This is where she gets her ideas for the meticulous shard design around her pieces. (Click here to see Rondina's signature.)
Size: 3 1/2" high by 5 5/8" diameter.
Price: $3,900 SOLD.
Lawrence grew up in Walpi, the Hopi village on First Mesa. He now lives in Polacca, the village just below First Mesa. He began as a Kachina carver, and in 1985, began to make pottery, as well as Kachinas. Lawrence is an active member of his clan, and maintains that only an active member knows the true Hopi signs that he incorporates into his work. A one of a kind potter, Lawrence specializes in colors that no other Hopi potter uses. His vegetal and mineral paints are all derived from his experimenting with different herbs and minerals native to the Hopi Reservation. Reds are from iron oxide clays he finds near the Grand Canyon. Greenish-blue colors are made from clays containing copper minerals, Whites are from pumice he finds around the Flagstaff area. Yellows are from lamonite he finds near Mesa Verde. Browns are iron oxide mixed with green mustard plants. Blacks are mustard greens with a higher content of iron oxide. "I've spent years with various combinations, and now you see the beauty in my pottery." All of Lawrence's pottery are traditional hand coiled of local clays, and traditional fired outdoors. Lawrence has won many awards, and his work is in many of the elite collections. (In the Army, Lawrence was a Green Beret.)
Item# P940 -Lawrence Namoki, Hopi-Tewa.
In this piece, Lawrence has painted Tawa, the sun, Hopi symbol for life. It is surrounded by red band, and then a night sky with stars. The sun-ray feathers are yellow with red accents. Tawa has five turquoise necklaces below the face. (Notice all of the colors in the face.) The other side of the pot features a starry night with Kokopelli, the "traveling salesman," and trickster. Kokopelli is playing to a corn plant, another Hopi symbol of life.
Size: 5 1/2" high by 4 1/2" diameter.
We are honored to be able to show several pieces by Steve Lucas. He is recognized as one of the three premier Hopi/Tewa potters. He has won many national and international shows. In 1998, he won the highest award, Best of Show, at the Santa Fe Indian Market, regarded as the No. 1 exhibition of Indian arts and crafts. The piece at the top of this page shows two views of a 24" diameter piece done by Steve. It is very similar to the piece that took the Best of Show at Indian Market Show.
At the 2000 Santa Fe Indian Market, Steve won Best of Classification, under pottery. (This is the next award below Best of Show.) His was a fantastic piece of pottery, a very large Hopi flat-shoulder jar, 22" in diameter, decorated with Sikyatki designs. (It sold early the next morning for $30,000.)
Over the past several years, Steve has won premier awards at most of the major Indian arts and crafts shows throughout the United States. In 2002, The Wheelwright Museum in Santa Fe featured an exhibition of Dextra Quotskuyva Nampeyo pottery. Dextra was Steve's aunt, tutor and mentor, so she insisted that a small exhibit of Steve's work also be shown. A singular recognition of Steve's artistry.
We have a special section, showing Steve coiling a pot, and talking about his techniques. Click here to go to that page, "Steve Lucas On Making Pottery."
Item# P626A - Steve Lucas, Hopi.
Here you see Steve's version of the classic spider design. Actually, this is a design used by Nampeyo, Steve's great, great-grandmother. The design is attributed to a pottery shard found by Nampeyo on the site of prehistoric Sikyatki, and abandoned pueblo near Steve's home. The red band around the top of this piece is Steve's own micaceous clay paint. The spiders appear on each quarter of the jar, with " mountains" separating the spiders. For a view of the top of this jar, click here. To read more about Nampeyo and the Corn Clan's Sikyatki designs, click here and you will go to "Meet The Artists, Nampeyo."
Size: 4 1/2" high by 7 3/4" diameter.
Price: $2,200 SOLD.
Item# P885 - Steve Lucas, Hopi.
"Heron Design." Steve frequently starts his designs by interpreting Sikyatki designs. Here, he gives us his creative idea of how he thinks the people of Sikyatki might have interpreted this bird. (Sikyatki is an abandoned prehistoric village near Steve's house in Polacca, on the Hopi reservation.) Steve said that he "used a little artistic license." This is a very contemporary design, and a rather large pot, for Steve. For the central motif, Steve says that it represents the four holly directions, and the four sacred winds. He has also added a cloud motif. The beige color on this bowl is the natural color of the fired Hopi clay, polished with a smooth agate polishing stone (no slip at all). The rest of the pigments are vegetal and mineral paint made by Steve from elements found near his home in Polacca. He has used his "secret formula" red micaceous color for accents and for the lower portion of this bowl.
Size: 8 1/2" high by 9 1/4" diameter.
Item# P886 -Mark Tahbo, Hopi
Mark calls this jar "A Gathering of Warriors." Mark prides himself on expanding his art horizon, and this time his ideas have been sparked by the kiva art found in the prehistoric site of "Pottery Mound." This Anasazi site was excavated and the murals recorded in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Mark has selected shield designs from the murals as the theme of this beautiful jar. Above, left, the shield shows a warrior holding a spear. Above, right, is a bird with other designs below it. In these two shields, Mark says that he used his own imagination, thinking what might have been an Anasazi shield design. To the Left, the shield shows a bear surrounded by feathers. Right, the shield contains a series of rock art drawings and a feathered head piece. For a view of the top, click here. In the four corners, Mark has pictured four shield, with spears drawn beside them. The center in a series of bird feathers. We asked him about the swastikas on the shields. Mark says that these signs are rock art symbols. The Navajos call them "Whirling Logs." The Hopis call them "Whirling Winds."
Size: 4" high by 9" diameter.
Mark grew up in Polacca, the Hopi village just below First Mesa, on the Hopi Reservation. He learned to make pottery from his great-grandmother, the late Grace Chapella. He now lives on the outskirts of Polacca. His back yard is the prehistoric ruins of Sikyatki. He roams the area which is filled with pottery shards from that ancient civilization. He says that the shards give him ideas and inspirations. Technically, Mark's pottery is classified as "Sikyatki Revival Ware." Mark makes all of his pieces by classic, traditional methods--digs and prepares the local clays, coils and polishes the pots, uses natural pigments for his paint, and fires outside, the ancient way.
Item# P939 - Iris Youvella Nampeyo, Hopi.
Iris has developed her own personal style–her carved appliqué of the sacred corn symbol, on polished buff wear. Here, she has sculptured the corn nestled into the husk of the corn plant. This has become her "trademark" design. Iris has perfected the sculptural approach to ceramics first introduced by her friend, Elizabeth White Qöyawayma, and later developed by Elizabeth's nephew, Al Qöyawayma (better known as Al Q). Iris, a member of the Hopi/Tewa corn clan, and a daughter of Fannie Polacca Nampeyo, and granddaughter of Nampeyo. Iris is the oldest living relative of Nampeyo. For a side view, click here.
Size: 3 3/4 high by 5 1/2" diameter.
Price: $1,500 SOLD.
Item# P760 - Dawn Navasie, Hopi.
For this flat-top jar, Dawn has chosen the Palhik Mana, a kachina that can be the Butterfly Maiden in one ceremony and the Water Maiden in another ceremony. The Hopis have a complex concept of numerology around the number four. Here, Dawn has illustrated four maidens, the four sacred directions, and the four seasons. She uses only traditional methods, which means that the clay form is first polished, and when fired the surface becomes the soft tan background. After the polish and before firing, she then applies the design using a yucca brush and mineral and vegetal paints. When traditionally fired, the colors turn into beauty you see here. This is one of her finest pieces. Dawn is a member of a famous potting family, She is the daughter of the late Eunice "Fawn" Navasie. Her aunt is Joy Navasie, "Frog Woman." Her sisters are active potters, Dolly Joe "White Swan" Navasie and Little Fawn Navasie, who now signs as Fawn.
Size: 4 3/4" high by 10 1/2" diameter.
Price: $1,500 SOLD.
Item# P9-Fawn Navasie, Hopi/Tewa.
This wide, low jar traces its style to the Sikyatki revival. Fawn's basic design is the representation of a bird repeated in each quadrant. Over the bird symbol, she has pictured a semi-circle of Sikyatki shards. Fawn is from a distinguished family of potters. Her mother was the late Eunice Navasie, who signed her name as "Fawn," giving this name to her daughter. Her aunt is Joy "Frog Woman" Navasie. Her sister is Dawn Navasie. Fawn is the wife of James Garcia Nampeyo.
Size: 7" high by 15" diameter.
Item# P376-Charley Navasie, Hopi.
Using the Sikyatki tradition, Charley has fashioned his interpretation of a frog. Additional Sikyatki inspired designs complete the diameter of this jar. The basic jar background is the classic, polished natural clay which fires to the typical Hopi buff-tan color. Charley is becoming recognized for his versatility as well has his designs. Charley is the grandson of Joy Navasie.
Size: 6 1/4" high by 7 1/2" diameter.
Price: $1,290 SOLD.
Item P618-Joy Navasie (Frog Woman), Hopi.
Joy Navasie is the only one of three famous sister-potters still living. (Eunice [Fawn] and Helen [Feather Woman] are deceased.) Now eighty plus years old, she and her sisters started one of the great families of Hopi potters. Joy is still potting, and we might observe, still producing outstanding art. She signs her ware with a drawing of a frog, hence, "Frog Woman." This is an opportunity to add a great collectors' piece to your pottery shelf.
Size: 7 1/2" high by 6 1/2" diameter.
Price: $1,425 SOLD.
Item# P485-Grace Navasie, Hopi.
Grace has fashioned a jar in the style of her mother, Joy Navasie (Frog Woman). The signs her pots with a frog and the initial "G." For several years, Grace and her mother have been making pottery together, hence the similarity of the two potters. The background of their ware is polished, white clay, with the designs in vegetal and mineral browns and blacks. She traditionally fires, like her mother.
Size: 7" high by 9" diameter.
Price: $950 SOLD.
Item# P935 - Gloria Mahle, Hopi.
Gloria has selected a series of rock art drawings that she has collected over the years. For the Hopis, a favorite Sunday afternoon jaunt is to get in their truck or jeep and go look for prehistoric rock art panels. For Gloria, she always took along her sketch book. In the Southwest, there are several rock art panels showing marching or dancing figures. Gloria has drawn her interpretation of the dancing figures around the rim of this bowl. Inside the bowl, she has drawn figures from her sketch book, including hand prints, birds, dragon flies, grasshoppers and other symbols that she has collected off cliff walls.
Size: 4" high by 12 3/4" diameter.
Item# P807-Gloria Mahle, Hopi.
Butterflies. Dragon flies. Moths. And more, just use your imagination. Gloria has picked her idea from a shard that came from the Sikyatki ruins. This is a beautiful, traditionally made Sikyatki Revival jar. Gloria has been an active Hopi potter since 1980. She credits Rainy Naha and Fawn Navasie as her mentors.
Size: 3 5/8" high by 5 3/4" diameter.
Item# P722 - Loren Ami, Hopi.
Loren has perfected the craft of making canteens, probably the most difficult pottery form to make. In this old-style Hopi canteen, Loren has used the motif of the four cardinal directions and the four direction of the sacred winds. To illustrate some of the difficulty in making canteens, Loren first coils and smoothes two matching hemispheres, whose edges must be identical. Then, he fuses the two hemispheres together with a watery mix of the clay. He then hand polishes the surfaces and applies the design. (Loren's designs use only traditional mineral and vegetal paints.) If the fusing of the two hemispheres is not done perfectly, the spheres break apart during the firing, and all of his work is for naught.
Size: 6 1/4" deep, 4 1/2" high by 5 1/4" wide.
Item# P669 -Alton Komalestewa, Hopi.
If you have ever wanted a melon bowl by Helen Shupla, here is your opportunity to get a melon bowl by her protégé, Alton Komalestewa. Helen, 1928-1985, a member of the Santa Clara Pueblo, married a Hopi, Kenneth Shupla. She spent a lot of time on the Hopi reservation, and this was her introduction to the great characteristics of Hopi clay. Using this experience, she was able to perfect a new technique for making melon bowls. Instead of carving the segments, she utilized the great plasticity of the Hopi clay and pushed out the sections from the inside of the bowl. This is a technique that requires great patience, keeping the clay wet and plastic, without getting it too wet and creating a slumped section. Or, pushing the clay too far and producing a nonrepairable hole in the side of the piece. After applying the slip, she polished each piece with an ultra smooth polishing stone. Alton became her son-in-law, and Helen took him under her wing, teaching him all she knew about making fine pottery. Today, Alton is an exceptionally fine potter, in his own right. Here is an example of his work, a melon bowl made using the same techniques as taught to him by his mother-in-law.
Size: 5 1/4" high by 8 3/4" diameter.
Price: $2,500 SOLD.
Item# P938 - Alton Komalestewa, Hopi.
This is a miniature melon bowl by Alton, one of his few miniatures. He still uses his mother's technique, pushing out the wall of the pot, rather than carving the segments. (Santa Clara potters carve the segments, which is much easier.) With a pot this small, Alton says it takes a lot of patience and skill.
Size: 1 3/8" high by 3" wide.
Item# P829-Tonita Hamilton Nampeyo, Hopi.
Tonita has made this jar in the classic Eagle Feather design, an idea that came from her grandmother's research into prehistoric Sikyatki pottery. This is one of the family's "owned" designs. Tonita is the reigning elder of the Corn Clan, and one of two surviving granddaughter of Nampeyo. Along with her younger sister, Iris Youvella Nampeyo, they strive to keep the legacy of their grandmother alive in their art. Tonita's mother, Fannie Nampeyo, learned and worked under the watchful eye of her mother, Nampeyo. It was Fannie who painted all of the pottery made by Nampeyo in the 1920's and 1930's, after Nampeyo lost her eyesight. Tonita credits her mother with teaching the craft to her. She follows all of the traditional methods of making her pottery, from finding the clay to firing the ware in an outdoor kiln. Tonita has won awards in most of the major Native American art shows. If you want a truly traditional piece of Nampeyo's Sikyatki Revival ware, this is a real opportunity. (If you would like to learn more about the Corn Clan, and Nampeyo's artistry, click here to go to Meet the Artists, Nampeyo.)
Size: 4" high by 7" diameter.
Price: $1,275 SOLD.
Item# P936-Tonita Hamilton Nampeyo, Hopi.
Here, Tonita presents the classic Migration design. This is a design that started with an idea of Nampeyo's, when she happened upon a prehistoric pottery shard from the ruins of Sikyatki. It is another of the "owned" designs of the Corn Clan. Nampeyo embellished the design of the sharp triangles, and added the concept of the lines. The sharp triangles are said to be bat wings, also sometimes claimed to be bird wings. The fine lines are said to represent the paths taken by the clans as they migrated to the Hopi mesas. The Migration design was a favorite of Tonita's mother, Fannie. It is amazing to watch Tonita make the repetitive, fine lines. With a yucca brush, she dips it into the paint, and then swish, and a line is made, equal distance from the previous line, and never touching it. Amazing! True skill and artistry. Tonita makes it look so easy. (If you would like to learn more about the Corn Clan, and Nampeyo's artistry, click here to go to Meet the Artists, Nampeyo.)
Size: 5 1/2" high by 7 1/2" diameter.
Price: $1,200 SOLD
Item# P561-Loren Hamilton Nampeyo, Hopi.
We are always looking for innovation, and this is a great example. Loren has depicted two scenes from the Hopi Niman Ceremony, or Home Dance. This is a ceremony held just after the Summer Solstice. It celebrates the Kachinas going back to their home in the San Francisco Mountains, where they sleep until they are awakened for the winter season, at the Winter Solstice. As the Kachinas are "dismissed," the finale of the ceremony, they are asked to bring rain for the summer corn crop. In a society where a successful corn crop meant a comfortable year or a year of hunger, the summer "monsoon" rains are essential. Hence, the supplications to the Kachinas. In this piece, Loren has illustrated the Hemis Kachina, followed by the Yellow Corn Maiden, and surrounded by clouds. The Hemis Kachinas are among the most colorful, and key figures in this ceremony. Just in front of the Hemis Kachina, Loren has depicted a green corn plant, with various symbols for water. On the other side of this jar, Loren shows the Mud Head Kachina, Koyemsi, pouring water from gourds upon the corn crops. Again, Loren has surrounded the scene with
clouds, lightning and other water symbols. Using Hopi clay, Loren has first carved an outline for the clouds and Kachina figures. All of the colors are achieved using traditional Hopi paints, applied before the firing. The piece was traditionally formed and fired. Loren, a master potter, is the son of Tonita and the grandson of Fannie Nampeyo, and has been producing pottery for the past 20 years.
>>>View of one side showing symbols for rain, lightning and sunshine.
Size: 6" high by 6 1/2" diameter.
Price: $1,250 SOLD.
Item# P937 - Loren Hamilton Nampeyo, Hopi.
Solstice. This is Loren's interpretation of the low sun at winter solstice, from horizon to horizon as it rolls over the Hopi pueblos. The winter solstice is a very important day on the Hopi calender, as it is the day when the winter kachina dances start. "Tawa" is the Hopi name for the sun.
Size: 4" high by 4 5/8" wide.
Item# P723-Delmar Polacca, Hopi.
Delmar Polacca is picking up where his father left. (Tom Polacca passed away in 2003.) Tom created this style of Hopi pottery, a departure from the classic polished, all-smooth Hopi jar. The primary departure from typical Hopi pottery, carved designs.. Delmar's work always features various Kachinas. Here, his design is two facing Hopi Kachina Manas (Manas=Hopi woman). The Mana on the left is the Corn Maiden, with the Yellow Corn Maiden on the right. These figures are actually dancers, and appear in the spring dances to promote growth of corn. Another symbol is a large turtle, which is a water symbol. Other symbols include rain clouds, sun/moon, eagle wings, sacred corn, and pottery shards with rain symbols. With a heritage of famous potters, Delmar is a great grandson of Nampeyo, and grandson of Fanny Nampeyo Polacca. His aunt is Iris Youvella Nampeyo, and Tonita Nampeyo.
Size: 4 3/4" high by 9 1/2" diameter.
Item# P374 -Karen Abeita, Hopi.
This is a bit of a change for Karen. Here, she has depicted six Kachina faces. This is also one of her larger pieces. For a top-down view of this fine piece, click here. For the year 2000, Karen was named a SWAIA Fellow. These prestigious awards are based on the technical and creative aspects of the artists' work. Seven, including Karen, were selected from over 100 artists who made submissions. Each Fellow receives a monetary stipend that can used toward furthering the artist's career
Size: 3 1/2" high by 10 1/2" diameter.
Item# P515 -Karen Abeita, Hopi.
We asked Karen her name for this jar. Her answer was, "Birds, birds, birds, and more birds." She has taken several historic and prehistoric bird representations and woven them into the design. We are showing two views of this exceptional piece of pottery. Click on either one for an enlarged view. Isn't that a good name? Birds, birds and more birds.
Size: 4 3/4" high by 8 1/2" diameter.
Item# P373-Dianna Tahbo, Hopi.
This work features a sweeping bird design from Sikyatki traditions, plus embellishments within the primary design. Of the Tewa Spider Clan, her brother is Mark Tahbo. From a long line of recognized potters, her great-grandmother was Grace Chapella.
Size: 4 1/4" high by 7 1/2" diameter.
Item# P511-Tyra Naha Tawawina, Hopi-Tewa.
Tyra is the daughter of Rainy Naha. In this jar, Tyra has decorated the top with two geckos, much in the style of her aunt, Silvia Naha. The sides are decorated with images of Hopi place symbols, the lightening symbols.
Size: 3 3/4" high by 8 1/4" diameter.
Price: $800 SOLD.
Item# P512-Tyra Naha awawina, Hopi-Tewa.
Tyra has decorated this small jar with the Hopi symbol for place, the spiral, and with lightening bolt symbols. These patterns and styles were often used by Tyra's grandmother, Feather Woman. Tyra signs her work with a feather, and a spider, her clan symbol.
Size: 4 1/4" high by 5" diameter.
Item# P245-Preston Duwyenie, Hopi, Hotevilla.
Preston is a Hopi, born on the reservation, but currently living near his wife's relatives in the Santa Clara Pueblo. Preston is known as a jeweler and a potter, frequently combining the two crafts, as he has done with this plate. Note the coral piece in the middle of the plate. He often uses the ripple pattern, as in this plate. Inspired by the flowing lines of moving sand and water, this pattern reminds him of how the wind and rain produced similar patterns in the washes and dunes near his childhood home. The rippled face of the plate has a flat surface finish, speckled by many mica flecks. The back of the plate is a smooth white, polished surface. (Preston uses traditional methods up to the point of firing, where he uses a commercial kiln.)
Size: 10" diameter.
A leucite stand is included.
Price: $1,350 SOLD.
Item# P717-Roberta Youvella Silas, Hopi.
Living in Polacca, Roberta is very near the prehistoric ruins of Sikyatki. For inspiration, she says that she often goes there and sketches the broken pot shards she finds on the ground. In this jar, she has a large number of Sikyatki style pot shards that she has incorporated into the flowing bird-wings of her imaginative designs. The pattern is repeated on four sides of this jar. According to Roberta, none of her relatives were potters. She learned her art from working with Feather Woman, Helen Naha. She uses all-traditional methods in making her pottery. Six of her eight daughters are potters.
Size: 7 3/4" high by 7 7/8" diameter.
Price: $500 SOLD
We are sad to report that Jake passed away June 14, 2011. We are leaving these items on our site, for you to view and remember this great Hopi artist. We also have another page that shows more of his work.Click here for three more examples of Jake's pottery art.
Item P759-Jacob Koopee, Hopi.
Jake calls this jar "Courting Parrots." He depicts images of two parrots, on opposite quarters of this jar. On the other quarters, he shows symbols of rain and clouds. Jake gets many of his ideas from pottery shards found on the site of Sikyatki, a prehistoric village ruins near his First Mesa home. These have given him ideas for the rain and cloud symbols. However, for the parrots, Jake's idea came from looking at ancient murals painted in abandoned kivas. Archaeologists have determined that the prehistoric ancestors of the Hopis had a lively trade with Mesoamerica, and parrots and parrot feathers were part of this commerce. (By ancient, we are talking more or less one thousand years ago.) Inspiration for the hands came from Jake's exploration of near-by, ancient cliff dwellings. As a mark for "I have been here," these ancestors often laid their hands flat against the cliff walls, and then blew white pigments against their hands, making the hand-prints a lasting impression. What would you call this, an ancient "Kilroy was here"? Jake has the reputation of making some of the largest traditionally coiled, traditionally fired pottery on the Hopi Mesas. His innovative designs garnered awards at the largest art shows. Jake won Best of Show at the Spring Heard Museum Show in March, 2005, and, he won Best of Show at the SWAIA Santa Fe Indian Market in August, 2005. No artist has achieved these back-to-back awards the same year, and this places him at the top-of-the-top among pottery artists. If you would like to see Jake's winning Indian Market piece, click here.
Size: 4 3/4" high by 12 1/2" diameter.
Price: $3,750 SOLD.
Item# P605 - Jacob Koopee, Hopi.
Jake is an active participant in the Hopi Kachina activities on First Mesa, his home. This religious activity gives him a first-hand knowledge of the "real" Hopi Kachinas. In this plate, he has executed the design of a Shalako Mana, or Hopi Cloud Maiden. With her brother, Shalako Taka, these two Kachinas represent the cloud people, and behave more as a deity than as Kachinas. Because their costumes and tablitas (head-gear) repeat the theme of clouds, their ceremonial activities are supposed to direct the clouds to pause over the Hopi villages, and bring life-giving rain.
Size: 11 1/2" diameter.
Price: $1,300 SOLD.
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At the moment, the leading Hopi potter is probably Dextra Quotskuyva of the Nampeyo Family, the Hopi-Tewa Corn Clan. Also important Nampeyo potters are three who have been taught by Dextra—Hisi Quotskuyva, her daughter; and Steve Lucas and Les Namingha, her nephews. Other significant Nampeyo Family members are Iris Youvella, Tom Polacca, and James Garcia.
The Chapella Family includes such recognized potters as Grace Chapella, Mark Tahbo, and Dianna Tahbo Howato.
The Navasie Family is actually a mix of the Navasies and the Nahas. These are the potters noted for their use of white slip, and they include Eunice Navasie (Fawn), her daughters—Dolly, Dawn and Fawn; Joy Navasie (Frog Woman), and her daughters—Marianne Jim and Grace Lomahquahu; and Helen Naha (Feather Woman) and her daughters—Sylvia and Rainy. Also in the family is Agnes Nahsonhoya, who in our opinion, is one of the more imaginative Hopi potters
Another important pottery family and clan is the Kachina/Parrot Clan. In this group is Rondina Huma, winner of "Best of Show" at the 1996 Santa Fe Indian Market. (This is the highest SWAIA award given at the Indian Market.) Karen Abeita is another member of this clan.
Hopi or Hopi/Tewa?
You will often hear Hopi potters referred to as Hopi/Tewa potters. Historically, during the Pueblo revolt of 1680, a group of Tewa speaking Indians from the Rio Grande valley fled to the Hopi area to escape from the tyranny of the Spaniards. The Hopis allowed them to form a village atop First Mesa, Hano. (Hano was the home village of Nampeyo, 1860-1942, the most recognized of all Hopi/Tewa potters.)
The Tewas have been accepted by the Hopis as equals, and intermarriage over the last three millenniums has made them so, from a practical sense. Not to digress, but the Santa Clara and San Ildefonso people speak Tewa. So you might say that making fine pottery seems to be a tradition among Tewas. Certainly the Tewas of Hopi are recognized as the potters of the Hopi Nation. The Village of Polacca was named for Tom Polacca, who moved down from Hano in 1890 to start a store at the base of First Mesa.
- Recommended reading - Check Amazon.com. They stock most of these titles.
- Hopi-Tewa Pottery, 500 Artist Biographies by Gregory Schaaf, CIAC Press, $55.00(cloth);
- Southwestern Pottery, Anasazi to Zuni by Allan Hayes and John Blom, Northland Publishing, $21.95(paper);
- Fourteen Families in Pueblo Pottery, by Rick Dillingham, University of New Mexico Press, $37.50 (paper);
- Hopi Pottery Symbols by Alex Patterson, Johnson Books, $17.95 (paper);
- Nampeyo and her Legacy by Barbara Kramer, University of New Mexico Press, $39.95 (cloth);
- Talking with the Clay, by Stephen Trimble, $15.95 (paper);
- Pueblo Storyteller by Barbara A. Babcock, $25.95 (paper);
- Generations In Clay, by Alfred E. Dittert, Jr., and Fred Plog, Northland Press;
- Living Tradition of Maria Martinezby Susan Peterson, $45.00 (paper)