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Kewa Pueblo Historic Large Storage Jar

C4152A-storage.jpg

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Artist Unknown
  • Category: Historic
  • Origin: Kewa - Santo Domingo Pueblo
  • Medium: clay, pigment
  • Size: 14” height x 14-¾” diameter
  • Item # C4152A
  • Price: $5,500.00

There are documented and published historic Kewa Pueblo storage jars with designs like this one and they are dated 1900-1910.  This storage jar certainly was made by the same potter or a member of the same family as those documented ones. Unfortunately, the photographed and published ones are not attributed to a specific potter or family, so we are still left without an attribution to a potter.

We need not know who the maker of a jar was for us to appreciate and enjoy it.  The shape of the vessel is excellent, providing a large area on which to paint the body design. The small or short neck enhances the largeness of the body.  The wiped on red band below the decorated panel is indicative of a pre-1920 period. Storage jars rarely indicate wear from having been used because they generally were used for dry items, not water, so no stains resulted.  It is difficult to determine if this one had use at the pueblo before having been sold.

The striking design on the upper half of the vessel certainly relates to rain, clouds, water sources.  The tornado-like pairs seem to indicate a male rain pattern—that is, heavy rain storm. The small element floating above and between these represents a cloud from which a soft rain is falling.  Rain symbols are used on pottery out of respect and perhaps as a plea for help. Rain is very important to New Mexico and is always scarce so a plea for help from the Great Spirits is understandable and respected.


Condition: the Kewa Pueblo Historic Large Storage Jar is in very good condition

Provenance: from the collection of a gentleman who lived near Kewa Pueblo for a number of years and collected pottery from pueblo families.  He has now moved to California and has chosen not to take pottery with him.

Recommended Reading: Pottery of the Pueblos of New Mexico 1700-1940 by Jonathan Batkin

Note: in 2009, Santo Domingo Pueblo's tribal council decided to change the pueblo's name back to the ancestral name Kewa Pueblo (pronounced KEE-wah)

Close up view of side panel design.
Artist Unknown
  • Category: Historic
  • Origin: Kewa - Santo Domingo Pueblo
  • Medium: clay, pigment
  • Size: 14” height x 14-¾” diameter
  • Item # C4152A
  • Price: $5,500.00

C4152A-storage.jpgC4152A-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.