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Most Unusual Hopi Jar by Nampeyo

C3942B-hopi.jpg

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Nampeyo of Hano (1857-1942)
  • Category: Historic
  • Origin: Hopi Pueblo
  • Medium: clay, pigment
  • Size: 8-1/2” height x 9” diameter
  • Item # C3942B
  • Price: $4,500.00

The image shows Nampeyo of Hano on the right with her daughter Fannie on the left - ca. 1930, courtesy of Rick Dillingham Fourteen Families In Pueblo Pottery.This jar shape is not what one normally associates with Hopi potters, yet there are jars in the Museum of Northern Arizona with similar shapes, both historic and contemporary.  We just are not familiar with seeing such on a regular basis.  It might be classified as a small storage jar.  It has a rounded base like those of storage jars.

 

The bird flying on the neck of the jar has a rather squared off beak, which is not what we associate with Hopi birds but “There are a few odd bird heads on Nampeyo jars at the Museum of Northern Arizona.” Personal note from Dr. Ed Wade.  The polka-dot element below the bird’s eye and the dark brown stepped cloud are most unusual elements on a bird’s head. 

 

The design that appears like a whale is another bird feature.  “The hump backed form with tail feathers is seen on certain of her (Nampeyo) tiles at the California Academy of Sciences.” Personal note from Dr. Ed Wade. Certainly, the modified migration pattern design below the midpoint of the jar is a Nampeyo design.

 

There are enough clues on this jar to conclude that it was made by Nampeyo, perhaps with or without the help of her daughter, Annie.  It is an early example of Nampeyo’s experimental and creative period, a period in which we see her working with shapes, designs and unusual features.  She was a creative person and was constantly trying new ideas.

 

Condition: broken section at rim and paint abrasion on surface from use

Provenance: this Most Unusual Hopi Jar by Nampeyo is from the personal collection of an author from Colorado

Recommended Reading: Canvas of Clay—Seven Centuries of Hopi Ceramic Art by Wade and Cooke

The image above shows Nampeyo of Hano on the right with her daughter Fannie on the left - ca. 1930, courtesy of Rick Dillingham Fourteen Families In Pueblo Pottery.

Alternate view of side panel design to include one of the birds.

Nampeyo of Hano (1857-1942)
  • Category: Historic
  • Origin: Hopi Pueblo
  • Medium: clay, pigment
  • Size: 8-1/2” height x 9” diameter
  • Item # C3942B
  • Price: $4,500.00

C3942B-hopi.jpgC3942B-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.