Hopi Polychrome Seed Jar by Rachel Sahmie Nampeyo


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Rachel Sahmie Nampeyo, Hopi-Tewa Potter

This exquisite jar was made by Rachel Sahmie Nampeyo at some time before 1995 as that is the date it was purchased by a previous owner. The jar rests on a base about the size of a silver dollar and balances beautifully and solidly. The design is a variation of the Sikyatki "eagle tail" with variations chosen by Rachel. It is a refreshing approach she chose for the layout.

The rim was left in the natural tan clay color, but stone polished along with the rest of the entire body. Over the polished tan clay color, is a wide brown framing line just below the rim, then a thin wisp of the tan clay was allowed to show through before another, but thin, pair of framing lines were added. The design fills the area below the thin framing lines down to the mid-body of the vessel at which point it is framed in a thin and wide pair of framing lines. Below these lower framing lines, the remainder of the vessel features only polished clay.

Artist initials or signature of Rachel Sahmie Nampeyo (1956-2022) Koo-Loo.  The Initials of her name (Rachel Sahmie) shown as RS.She signed this vessel with the initials of her name (Rachel Sahmie) shown as RS.

Rachel Sahmie Nampeyo (1956-2022) Koo-Loo was a daughter of Priscilla Namingha Nampeyo and had been an active potter since around 1970. She had seven siblings, all of whom are potters or Katsina doll carvers. Her brothers and sisters were Nyla Sahmie, Jean Sahme, Bonnie Chapella, Randy Sahmie, Andrew Sahmie, Foster Sahmie and Finkle Sahmie.

Rachel was a well-recognized potter who was awarded numerous prizes and recognition for her work. She specialized in making large pottery vessels with designs of her own but influenced by Hopi Sikyatki prehistoric wares.

Condition: very good condition with only a single minor paint abrasion.

Provenance: this Hopi Polychrome Seed Jar by Rachel Sahmie Nampeyo was originally owned by a client who purchased it in 1997, then purchased in 2009 by the current New Mexico family.

Recommended Reading: Fourteen Families in Pueblo Pottery by Rick Dillingham

TAGS: Priscilla Namingha NampeyoNyla SahmieJean SahmeBonnie ChapellaFinkle SahmieSouthwest Indian PotteryHopi PuebloContemporary PotteryRachel Sahmie Nampeyo

Alternate views of this Hopi-Tewa pottery seed jar.

Rachel Sahmie Nampeyo, Hopi-Tewa Potter
C4813A-seed.jpgC4813A-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.