Polychrome Migration Pattern Pottery Jar with Flared Rim by Fannie Polacca Nampeyo

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Fannie Polacca Nampeyo, Hopi-Tewa Potter

Alternate View of this pot.

This polychrome Hopi-Tewa pottery jar was made by Fannie Nampeyo.  It features a strong variation of a classic Hopi design.  The “migration pattern,” which represents the migration of the Hopi people through four worlds, was one of Fannie’s favorite designs.  Here, the migration pattern is filled in with solid brown pigment instead of cross-hatched lines.  The designs that frame this pattern use an equally bold red pigment.  We have seen other pieces by the artist that used this same variation.

This jar’s shape is wonderful.  Its wide curves are smooth and graceful.  Its flared rim, surrounded by a thick ring of brown pigment, is eye-catching.  Fortunately, the rim has not suffered any damage over the years. While the designs and vessel shape are notable, the slip color might be the jar’s most alluring attribute.  It ranges from soft tan to bright orange, with a warm glow that is consistent even as these colors shift.  Its walls are a bit thicker than one might expect, and consistent throughout the pot.  It feels balanced and substantial when handled.  This is a fine example of Fannie Nampeyo’s work.

The bottom of the jar is signed Fannie Nampeyo.

Fannie Polacca Nampeyo (1900-1987) was a Hopi-Tewa potter who was a daughter of Nampeyo of Hano and Lesou. She had two sisters, Annie Healing Nampeyo and Nellie Nampeyo Douma.  They were all Corn Clan members. Lesou was a Tobacco Clan, but clan inheritance comes from the mother. Fannie had 7 children—Thomas, Elva, Tonita, Iris, Leah, Harold, and Ellsworth—all of whom were potters.  Fannie won her first Blue Ribbon in 1961 from the Museum of Northern Arizona at the annual Hopi Show. Her pottery was selected for several museum exhibits in the 1990s. Since she was the youngest daughter of Nampeyo and Lesou, she was better known, personally, by many collectors, most of whom never met Annie or Nellie.  She was still actively making pottery as late as the mid-1980s and passed away in 1987.

Condition Excellent condition, with minor abrasions that are typical for a jar of its age.  The signature is faint but visible.

Provenance: this Polychrome Migration Pattern Pottery Jar with Flared Rim by Fannie Polacca Nampeyo is from a private collection

Recommended Reading: The Legacy of a Master Potter: Nampeyo and her Descendants by Mary Ellen and Laurence Blair

Signature - Fannie Polacca Nampeyo, Hopi-Tewa Potter

Fannie Polacca Nampeyo, Hopi-Tewa Potter
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