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Nampeyo Effigy Vessel with Human Face

C3974A-effigy.jpg

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Nampeyo of Hano (1857-1942)
  • Category: Historic
  • Origin: Hopi Pueblo
  • Medium: clay, pigment
  • Size: 6-1/2” height x 5” diameter
  • Item # C3974A
  • Price: $6,500.00

This Hopi effigy vessel has a human face, with molded nose and ears and with the chin protruding from the neck.  The face is painted with dark brown pigment, ears painted with red pigment, decorations on the cheeks and the mouth are with both colors, a necklace with naja executed in brown, and a headband in brown pigment that drops down ending in dual feathers.  The rim slopes downward to the back of the vessel, providing a slight upward glance to the face.

A vessel very similar to this one has been identified as having been made by Nampeyo around 1905.  One documented vessel like this has been identified as having been purchased from Nampeyo.

Edwin Wade, PhD, wrote in 2008, regarding an effigy vessel at Adobe Gallery, “For a brief period during her first trip [to the Grand Canyon] at the turn of the 20th century, she experimented with decorative effigy bottles, incorporating her classical feather motifs. . .”  It is most likely that the Fred Harvey Company encouraged Nampeyo to produce such effigy vessels because tourists would find them appealing.  Nampeyo made them for a short while, then reverted to making regular vessel shapes.  Some of these effigy vessels still have the paper label applied by the Harvey Company.  This one no longer has such a label.

These effigy vessels are among the rarest of Nampeyo’s creations.  She could express her creativity as an artist when making those large magnificent seed jar shaped vessels that it probably did not appeal to her to make these effigy vessels over and over.  It is doubtful that she ever made them again after the 1905 stay at Hopi House at the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.


Condition: excellent condition with some abrasion to the painted design

Provenance: this Nampeyo Effigy Vessel with Human Face is from a gentleman from Colorado

Recommended Reading:  Canvas of Clay: Seven Centuries of Hopi Ceramic Art by Edwin L. Wade and Allan Cooke

Nampeyo of Hano (1857-1942)
  • Category: Historic
  • Origin: Hopi Pueblo
  • Medium: clay, pigment
  • Size: 6-1/2” height x 5” diameter
  • Item # C3974A
  • Price: $6,500.00

C3974A-effigy.jpgC3974A-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.