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Hopi Polychrome Small Jar with Eagle Tail Design


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Tonita Hamilton Nampeyo (1934 - present)

Artist photo courtesy of Rick Dillingham. (Fourteen Families In Pueblo Pottery).Following in the tradition of Nampeyo of Hano, many of her children and grandchildren and following generations of potters have used the designs of the prehistoric Sikyatki ancestors of the Hopi.  Nampeyo is known for re-introducing those designs at the turn of the last century, so we see that those designs have had a second reincarnation that is now over a hundred years old.

The design on this small jar by Tonita Hamilton Nampeyo (1934 - present) is referred to as the Eagle Tail design.  It is not known who gave names to these reused designs from a thousand years ago, but probably early traders are responsible.

The opening of the jar is surrounded by a square filled with red slip, below which is the painted design, pendant to each of the four lines of the square.  Those designs were executed in dark brown pigment.

Tonita Hamilton Nampeyo (1934 - present) signatureTonita Hamilton Nampeyo, daughter of Fannie Polacca Nampeyo and granddaughter of Nampeyo of Hano, continues making pottery in the traditional manner, using Sikyatki revival patterns, as taught her by her mother and grandmother.  She was awarded “Best Traditional Hopi Pottery” at the 1984 Santa Fe Indian Market and has won many awards at the annual Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market (The Heard Show). She is represented in the collection of the Museum of Northern Arizona.

Condition: this Hopi Polychrome Small Jar is in very good condition with minor scratches which is acceptable for a jar of this age.

Provenance:  from the estate of Santa Fe dealer and collector Martha (Marti) Struever, who passed away in August 2017.

Recommended Reading: Contemporary Hopi Pottery by Laura Graves Allen

Note: Artist photo courtesy of Rick Dillingham. (Fourteen Families In Pueblo Pottery).

Close up view of side panel design.