Hopi-Tewa Pottery Cylinder with Spider Designs by Burel Naha


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Burel Naha, Hopi-Tewa Potter

Alternate view showing the top of the vessel design.Hopi-Tewa artist Burel Naha created this cylindrical pottery jar with spider designs.  Naha comes from a long line of talented potters, and his family’s history is evident in his work.  He’s managed to carve out his niche, however, with his intricately composed spider designs.  Earlier in his career, he created pots that looked more like those of his predecessors.  While not quite as unique as these spider designs, those early works are excellent, and they have always been claimed quickly by collectors.

This particular piece is a fine example of Naha’s spider design style.  A trio of vertical lines splits the cylinder into halves.  Situated in the center of each section is a large, detailed spider.  It is clear that Naha put a great deal of time and attention into these spiders, adding precise details and using shading to create depth.  Each spider’s body is filled in with Hopi designs.  The webs they spin cover the majority of the cylinder, ultimately meeting near the top of the vertical lines.  All of this is done with brown and orange on top of a slip that’s light gray, creating a wonderful combination of earthy tones.

Artist Hallmark of a Katsina - Burel Naha, Hopi-Tewa PotterThe bottom of the jar is signed with Naha’s Longhair Katsina hallmark.  Hopi Pueblo artist Burel Naha (1944 - ) is the son of Helen Naha (Feather Woman), grandson of Paqua Naha (Frog Woman), and brother of Rainy Naha and Sylvia Naha. Burel and his sisters continued the tradition of their famous mother in producing pottery of the finest quality and with superb designs. Naha received his BA at Brigham Young University. He was a teacher for many years and now has dedicated his life to the traditional ways of his Hopi ancestors. Burel Naha credits his success to his mother for teaching him the traditional ways of their ancestors.  Naha’s works have received awards from the New Mexico State Fair and the Gallup Inter-tribal Indian Ceremonial.

Condition: excellent condition

Provenance: this Hopi-Tewa Pottery Cylinder with Spider Designs by Burel Naha is from a private New Mexico collection

Recommended Reading: Hopi-Tewa Pottery 500 Artist Biographies by Gregory Schaaf

Relative Links:  Helen Naha (Feather Woman)Paqua Naha (Frog Woman)Rainy NahaSylvia NahaHopi PuebloContemporary PotteryBurel Naha, Hopi-Tewa Potter