Hopi-Tewa Polychrome Small Pottery Jar by Helen Naha, Feather Woman

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Helen Naha - Feather Woman, Hopi-Tewa Potter

This wonderful Hopi Pueblo wide and low pottery jar by Feather Woman is slipped in traditional white, over which was painted the decoration in deep dark brown. The designs are often referred to as a batwing. The round opening at the top of the jar has been outlined in a square orange slip which was then outlined in a pair of black lines.  The designs on the four sides of the jar are pendant from the outer black rim line.

Artist Hallmark (a feather) - Helen Naha (1922-1993) Feather Woman

Helen Naha (Feather Woman) and Joy Navasie (Frog Woman) were sisters-in-law.  Helen Naha married Joy Navasie's brother, Archie Naha. Helen was known for her stark black-on-white Hopi pottery early in her career and for exquisite polychrome pots in later times. Her hallmark is a feather.

Helen Naha and her daughters Rainy and Sylvia all have signed their pottery with a feather painted on the underside of the vessel. To distinguish between their work and their mom's, Rainy added an R near the stem of the feather and Sylvia added an S in the same location.

The feather on this jar is abraded at the point where such initials would have been, however, we are confident that this jar was made by the mother, Helen Naha Feather Woman. Our reason is the design is one used by Helen, and there are no examples of this design used by either daughter.


Condition: this jar is structurally in excellent condition. There is some slip loss near the feather hallmark on the underside but nothing truly significant.

Provenance: this Hopi-Tewa Polychrome Small Pottery Jar by Helen Naha, Feather Woman is from the collection of a client’s estate in Oregon

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

Relative Links: Helen Naha - Feather WomanSouthwest Indian Pottery, Hopi Pueblo, Contemporary PotteryJoy Navasie (Frog Woman)

Alternate top view of this Hopi Pueblo pottery jar.

Helen Naha - Feather Woman, Hopi-Tewa Potter
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