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Kewa - Santo Domingo Pueblo Unusual and Rare Dough Bowl [SOLD]


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Kewa - Santo Domingo Pueblo is one of the most conservative of all pueblos and has always been averse to sharing any information with people not of the pueblo.  Perhaps this is a result of the actions of the Spaniards 400 years ago.  The great student of the Southwest, Adolph Bandelier, was never able to learn anything in the pueblo. 

Not only is the pueblo deservedly secretive about matters of the pueblo, it is most conservative in matters about designs on pueblo pottery.  There are traditional designs that are constantly used and new designs that may never be adopted.  It intrigues us that this marvelous dough bowl would feature designs never before documented, to our knowledge, in any published records.  It is strongly reminiscent of the designs seen on Navajo ceremonial baskets—the stepped designs pendant from upper and lower framing lines and the zigzag line in the mid-section of the bowl.  There is probably no connection to the Navajo but it is just a visual reminder when one sees the designs on the two different items.

Kenneth Chapman documented hundreds, maybe thousands, of designs from Santo Domingo pottery in the book The Pottery of Santo Domingo Pueblo, but he illustrated nothing similar to the designs on this bowl.

According to Jonathan Batkin, potters at Santo Domingo were making only what pottery they needed in 1880 which would indicate that this bowl, which shows evidence of pueblo use, was probably made for use around that time, or perhaps around 1900.  This is the same period in which the Aguilar sisters departed from traditional Santo Domingo designs and created those spectacular jars for which they have become famous.  Perhaps there was a relaxed attitude in the pueblo around the turn of the century and some potters occasionally departed from traditional designs and created new ones.

This is a most spectacular Kewa Pueblo dough bowl and probably the most striking one in existence.  It is,  in our opinion, the finest one ever made and one that illustrates the artistry of a master potter who was willing to express her artistic talent not only in construction of the vessel but in its decoration.


Condition: this Kewa - Santo Domingo Pueblo Unusual and Rare Dough Bowl is in excellent condition

Provenance:  ex. coll. Vincent Price, Hollywood

                       ex. coll. Ray and Judy Dewey, Santa Fe

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

Close up view of side panel design.

25540-dough.jpg25540-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.