Kewa Child-size OLLA, Historic Santo Domingo Water Jar [SOLD]


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Potter Once Known

This is an exceptional Kewa Pueblo child-size olla that follows the pueblo's traditions in every aspect of materials, construction, and design. The main body is decorated in black vegetal paint over the cream-colored rag-wiped bentonite slip. The design consists of infinity symbols repeated throughout the body of the vessel and black triangles around the neck. Interestingly, the black infinity symbols appear to the eye as the focus of the design, whereas the white rectangles that are formed by the black triangles around the neck appear as the design. This is a good case of where the body design is positive and the neck design is negative, all achieved in the same manner of painting.

Double framing lines at the rim and near the underbody are penetrated by traditional ceremonial line breaks that go through the entire design element apart from the bottom framing line which is solid. A black rim and red underbody complete the design.

The jar probably dates to the early 1900s and is an excellent example of a traditional small water jar from the pueblo. The cream bentonite slip over the entire vessel has assumed a beautiful warm patina and the black guaco paint is still strong and vivid.

Condition: structurally in very good condition. It appears that some surface exfoliation at the mid-body has had some conservation

Provenance: this Kewa Child-size OLLA, Historic Santo Domingo Water Jar is from the collection of a family from Florida.

Recommended ReadingA River Apart: The Pottery of Cochiti & Santo Domingo Pueblos by Valerie Verzuh, et al.

TAGS: Southwest Indian PotteryKewa - Santo Domingo PuebloContemporary PotteryCeremonial breaks

Alternate view of this jar.


Potter Once Known
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