Hopi-Tewa Pottery Tile of a Hopi Maiden

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Mark Tahbo, Hopi - Tewa Potter

Photo of Unmarried Hopi Maiden by Edward Curtis - source: Public Domain.

Images of unmarried Hopi maidens were among the many photographs taken by Edward S. Curtis at the end of the 19th Century. Curtis was intent on documenting Native American culture and spent decades traveling the United States and photographing Native people. Curtis took more than 40,000 photographs in his lifetime.

The image on this pottery tile was inspired by a historic photograph of a Hopi maiden taken by Curtis.

The squash blossom whorls are unique to the Hopi of Arizona. The maiden on the tile has the distinctive hair whorls which identify her as unmarried. At Hopi, only the unmarried woman wore the hairstyle. Mark Tahbo shared with us that he painted the maiden in the style of the time, with a somber, serious look. Behind the maiden, the artist painted a wall with a window as an added feature, as if she were looking over the Hopi Mesas.   The image was presented in monochromatic tone to simulate the tone of Curtis’s photographs.


The tile is signed on the back with the artist’s Pipe Hallmark Logo and the year ’17. The pipe hallmark signifies Mark's belonging to the Tabacco Clan of Hopi Pueblo. Condition: this Hopi-Tewa Pottery Tile of a Hopi Maiden is new

Provenance: from the artist

Recommended Reading:  America's Great Lost Expedition, The Thomas Keam Collection of Hopi Pottery from the Second Hemenway Expedition, 1890-1894 by Edwin Wade and Lea McChesney

Mark Tahbo, Hopi - Tewa Potter
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