Reycita Naranjo Carved Blackware Bowl with Polished Interior

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Reycita Naranjo, Santa Clara Pueblo Potter

This gorgeous blackware pottery bowl was made by Reycita Naranjo of Santa Clara Pueblo. Reycita was one of many talented members in the Naranjo family. She passed away in 2003, and her works are highly collectible today. This blackware bowl provides an example of Reycita's technical skills and keen eye for composition.

Artist signature of Reycita Naranjo (1926-2003) Santa Clara PuebloThis short, wide bowl is well-balanced and nearly symmetrical in form. Its surface is polished to a lustrous sheen. Reycita's decision to stone polish even the interior was a wise one—the otherwise undecorated interior is a highlight. On the exterior, an avanyu figure (water serpent) is carved in relief, circling the bowl in traditional pueblo symbology. With its enlarged head and massive lightning bolt tongue, this is a particularly expressive execution of the water serpent image, and it works well with the vessel's form.

The bottom of the vase is signed Reycita Naranjo, Santa Clara Pueblo, N.M.

Reycita Naranjo (1926-2003) Santa Clara Pueblo, was born into a large family of potters, all of whom are exceptional artists. Her sisters, Clara Shije, Elizabeth Naranjo, Florence Browning, Mary Singer, and Mary Carlisle all are recognized as outstanding potters, as is her mother Pablita Tafoya Chavarria. Reycita had been an award winner at Santa Fe Indian Market since 1981. She had been featured in numerous publications and prominent collections as well.

What is an Avanyu? a deity of the Tewa Pueblos—San Ildefonso, Tesuque, San Juan, Santa Clara, Nambe, and Pojoaque—and is the guardian of water. He is represented as a horned or plumed serpent with curves suggestive of flowing water or the zig-zag of lightning. He appears on the walls of caves located high above canyon rivers in New Mexico and Arizona and may be related to the feathered serpent of Mesoamerica— Quetzalcoatl and related deities.

Example of an Avanyu water serpent.


Condition: excellent condition

Provenance: this Reycita Naranjo Carved Blackware Bowl with Polished Interior is from a private New Mexico collection

Reference: Pueblo Indian Pottery: 750 Artist Biographies by Gregory Schaaf.

TAGS: Santa Clara PuebloElizabeth NaranjoFlorence BrowningMary SingerPablita Tafoya ChavarriaSouthwest Indian PotteryReycita Naranjo

Alternate view of this bowl with polished inside surface.

Reycita Naranjo, Santa Clara Pueblo Potter
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