Hopi-Tewa Square Pottery Tile with Eagle Design by Rachel Sahmie Nampeyo [SOLD]


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Rachel Sahmie Nampeyo, Hopi-Tewa Potter

This flat pottery tile was made and designed by Hopi-Tewa artist Rachel Sahmie Nampeyo. This pottery tile is nearly square and is ¼-inch thick. Tiles are difficult to make because the clay tends to warp or crack during the drying process. Few potters have mastered the techniques of successful tile manufacturing.

Originally, tiles were made with not much care as the purpose was to form a clay source that would be fired and then ground up for use as a tempering agent for other pottery. It is speculated that Thomas Keam saw some tiles and, believing they would be excellent tourist items if finished properly and painted with Hopi designs, encouraged potters to make them for him. Tiles have endured as collectibles for over a hundred years now.

Sahmie Nampeyo, daughter of Priscilla Namingha Nampeyo. It is signed Nampeyo Koo-Loo. On the face of the tile, she painted a single image of an Eagle with its curved beak, feathers on its head, and wings spread outward. The head of the eagle was executed with wide brown pigment lines. The body was beautifully designed with varying shapes. Three tail feathers complete the body. Each wing is rectangular with like designs. Wing feathers were executed in brown pigment. The eagle is surrounded by three thin brown lines and the edges of the tile are painted with brown pigment. The tile was polished on front and back.

Condition: original condition

Provenance: this Hopi-Tewa Square Pottery Tile with Eagle Design by Rachel Sahmie Nampeyo is from the extensive collection of a Santa Fe resident

Recommended Reading: Hopi & Pueblo Tiles: an Illustrated History by Kim Messier & Pat Messier

Relative Links: Priscilla Namingha NampeyoNyla SahmieJean SahmeBonnie ChapellaFinkle SahmieSouthwest Indian PotteryHopi PuebloContemporary PotteryRachel Sahmie Nampeyo, Hopi-Tewa Potter

Rachel Sahmie Nampeyo, Hopi-Tewa Potter
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