Acoma Pueblo Historic Pottery Jar with Whirling Log Design

C4483B-water-jar.jpg

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Pueblo Potter Unknown
  • Category: Historic
  • Origin: Acoma Pueblo, Haak’u
  • Medium: clay, pigment
  • Size: 9-¾” height x 11” diameter
  • Item # C4483B
  • Price: $3250

This is a beautiful historic example of how Acoma Pueblo potters traditionally fill the area of a vessel with a variety of designs. Sometimes, the design goes from base to rim without divisions into sections. At other times, the jar is divided into horizontal bands and each band features a different design. This potter chose to forego divisions and devote the full surface to an enlarged design concept. The jar was constructed of traditional Acoma clay with ground up potsherds as temper. The walls are thin and the jar rings like fine crystal.

The primary design is a large circle with a four-part rotating design in dark brown pigment at the centerpiece, surrounded by four rotating cloud designs in polychrome pigments.  This circle was repeated two additional times.  It is easy to see the central design— the four triangles filled with fine lines— as a whirling log or swastika symbol, something that existed on Acoma pottery prior to World War II, and is rarely seen afterwards. This may or may not have been the intent of the potter.

Separating the three circular designs are three opposing panels that start at the rim with a pair of fine-line triangles enclosed by black triangles, below which is a diamond filled with checkerboards, then below that is a repeat of the design above the checkerboard diamond.  As is typical of Acoma pottery, the design leaves minimum undecorated space on the surface of the jar.

The jar is typical of the 1930s Acoma style.  It has a concave underbody and an orange slipped lower section.  The rim is brown, and the interior is white and left in a matte finish, and with an orange band on the rim interior.  There is no evidence of prior pueblo use.


Condition: good condition with minor spalling

Provenance: this Acoma Pueblo Historic Pottery Jar with Whirling Log Design is from the collection of a gentleman from Texas

Recommended Reading: Acoma & Laguna Pottery by Rick Dillingham

Relative Links: Southwest Indian PotteryAcoma PuebloHistoric Pottery


Pueblo Potter Unknown
  • Category: Historic
  • Origin: Acoma Pueblo, Haak’u
  • Medium: clay, pigment
  • Size: 9-¾” height x 11” diameter
  • Item # C4483B
  • Price: $3250

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