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Acoma Black on White Canteen with Turtle Figurine

C4137A-turtle.jpg

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Jessie C. Garcia (1910-1999) Sun Clan
  • Category: Contemporary
  • Origin: Acoma Pueblo
  • Medium: clay, pigment
  • Size: 4-¼” diameter x 4-¾” front to back
  • Item # C4137A
  • Price: $750.00

Large pottery canteens originally were made for the women to haul and store water in the home and smaller ones were made for the men to take with them when working in the fields.  At some point in history, tourists saw canteens and expressed interest in purchasing them so a new item of merchandise came into existence for the potters to sell to tourists. That obviously was the intent for this canteen made by Jessie Garcia.  The size is too small for use by a man in the fields and the turtle would not have been attached if it was intended for use.

Jessie C. Garcia (1910-1999) signatureOne of the potters who was very adept at making canteens was Jessie Garcia (1910-1999).  I never thought about how one would be constructed but assumed it would be like making a jar—starting with coiling from the base and ending up at the spout.  The handles would be added to the body while the clay was still moist as would additional items such as the turtle. Listening to an Acoma potter at this year’s Santa Fe Indian Market describe how she made canteens changed my mind.  She said that she made canteens in two hemispheres and then put them together. That’s at least how one potter does it and perhaps it is how all do it.

Jessie Garcia was considered by Rick Dillingham (author of Acoma & Laguna Pottery—see link below) as one of the three most important 20th century potters from Acoma Pueblo, along with Lucy Lewis and Marie Z. Chino.  She was the mother of Anita Lowden and Stella Shutiva and the mother-in-law of Sarah Garcia, all three of whom are recognized as outstanding potters. In 1941, Museum of New Mexico director Kenneth Chapman donated a Jessie Garcia seed jar to the Indian Arts Fund. The Indian Arts Fund purchased a Jessie Garcia bowl from Mrs. William J. Lippincott, and then, in 1966, the Indian Arts Fund made a direct purchase of a bowl from Jessie at Santa Fe Indian Market. These acquisitions indicate the esteem that the Indian Arts Fund had for the work of this potter.


Condition: this Acoma Black on White Canteen with Turtle Figurine is in very good condition with minimal spalling

Provenance: from the collection of a gentleman who specialized in collecting pottery from Acoma Pueblo— concentrating on works by Juana Leno and Jessie Garcia.

Reference: Acoma & Laguna Pottery by Rick Dillingham

Jessie C. Garcia (1910-1999) Sun Clan
  • Category: Contemporary
  • Origin: Acoma Pueblo
  • Medium: clay, pigment
  • Size: 4-¼” diameter x 4-¾” front to back
  • Item # C4137A
  • Price: $750.00

C4137A-turtle.jpgC4137A-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.