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Hopi Frog Woman Polychrome Cylinder Jar

C3963C-frog.jpg

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Joy Navasie (1919 - 2012) second Frog Woman - Yellow Flower
  • Category: Contemporary
  • Origin: Hopi Pueblo
  • Medium: clay, pigment
  • Size: 11-¼” tall x 6-½” wide
  • Item # C3963C
  • Price: $3,250.00

Hallmark Frog Symbol - Joy Navasie (1919-2012) Second Frog Woman-Yellow Flower

Joy Navasie was born in 1919 on Hopi’s First Mesa and recalls she began making pottery at the age of 17. She learned to make pottery from her mother, Paqua Naha, the first Frog Woman. Her distinctive decorative style is instantly recognizable, as she uses a light cream slip on which she paints dark brown and rust color designs. Her skillful application of bird, water and sky elements around a perfectly formed pot is unique.

There are two different explanations for the popularity of the cylinder shape of Hopi jars. The first explanation is that it is an Ancestral Puebloan shape originating at Chaco Canyon. Liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry testing of jar fragments confirmed the presence of theobromine, a biomarker for cacao. It is suggested that Hopi potters came across remnants of cylinder jars while searching their ancestral lands and reintroduced them in the early 20th Century.

The second explanation is that the shape was encouraged by the traders who recognized it as similar to cylinder vases made popular during the Arts and Crafts Movement. Companies like Rookwood were producing the shape and it was very popular. Always trying to find items to market to the Southwest traveler, the traders encouraged Hopi potters to produce a shape and form that would be attractive to the tourist. Regardless of the origin, whether it was Ancestral Puebloans or Arts and Crafts enthusiasts, the cylinder vase shape has become a distinctive style of Hopi pottery.

Frog Woman was one of the finest Hopi-Tewa potters and her skill in crafting this vase is evident. The precise symmetry of the jar is enhanced by the beautiful design elements. The vase is separated into four sections with the elements on opposite sides mirroring each other. The painting was applied with an expert hand. The subtle combination of rust red and brown on a fine creamy white slip is striking. This is a piece that illustrates just why Frog Woman is considered to be one of the finest Hopi-Tewa potters of the 20th century.


Condition: very good condition, with minor wear consistent with age

Provenance: From a collector in Santa Fe

Recommended Reading: Canvas of Clay: Seven Centuries of Hopi Ceramic Art by Allan Cooke and Ed Wade

Close up view of side panel design.

Joy Navasie (1919 - 2012) second Frog Woman - Yellow Flower
  • Category: Contemporary
  • Origin: Hopi Pueblo
  • Medium: clay, pigment
  • Size: 11-¼” tall x 6-½” wide
  • Item # C3963C
  • Price: $3,250.00

C3963C-frog.jpgC3963C-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.