Kewa Pueblo Late Historic Deep Dough Bowl [SOLD]


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Pueblo Potter Unknown

Generally, one considers large pottery bowls that measure 18 or more inches in diameter to be classified as dough bowls.  Bowls of lesser scale are often referred to as serving bowls, however, these smaller bowls, in the 14-inch diameter range, also may be considered dough bowls when they are being used as such - for bread making.

This bowl has sufficient depth and diameter to make bread for an average-sized family.  The outward-flared wall is another feature that is associated with dough bowls.  Such a shape allows more room to accommodate a person’s arms when kneading bread dough.  A polished interior is another characteristic of dough bowls. This bowl has all the criteria to qualify as a dough bowl.

The exterior design on the lower portion of the bowl is very similar to a design attributed to Ignacita Suina, who is credited with creating it circa 1920-1930.  Apparently, Santo Domingo potter Monica Silva created a design somewhat similar in the 1930s or 1940s, and it has been associated with her since that time.  Such an elaborate design is refreshing to see from a Kewa Pueblo potter, as most Kewa dough bowls feature very strict geometric designs, such as black stacked triangles, sometimes forming a star shape.

The designs on this jar alternate between a sinusoidal wave around the rim and triangular shapes on the body.  The three prongs attached to the tip of each large triangle most likely represent feathers. A ceremonial line break penetrates the full design, including the black rim. This is a very strong visual bowl with static and dynamic designs beautifully integrated.

Because so few bowls were collected from Santo Domingo by the Smithsonian teams in the late 1800s, it has been surmised that only what was needed for pueblo use was being made.  After the turn of the century, however, a trading post was opened next to the railroad tracks at the pueblo and potters began making wares to sell, but jars were more in demand than large bowls.  It is not out of line to surmise that this bowl was made for use, not for sale.  It does not show extensive wear from use but there is some evidence of prior use.

Condition: this Kewa Pueblo Late Historic Deep Dough Bowl is in very good condition

Provenance: from the collection of a family from New Mexico

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