Carved Redware Seed Pot with Figures and Corn


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Camilio Sunflower Tafoya, Santa Clara Pueblo Artist

This redware seed pot was created by Camilo Sunflower Tafoya of Santa Clara Pueblo. Tafoya was a versatile potter who also made work in the more traditional carved blackware style, which his mother Sara Fina and sister Margaret perfected and popularized. With this piece, he offered a piece in the sgraffito style, which seems to have been his primary area of interest.

This piece is small, which is typical, and round, except for the flat base. Two carved circles appear on the pot's sides, with figures carved in relief. They support themselves with tall staffs while carrying large parcels on their backs. We assume that they are farmers, carrying the fruits of their labor home after a long day's work. In the areas between the circular elements, tall corn designs appear, reaching from the base all the way up to the small hole near the top of the pot.

Artist signature of Camilio Sunflower Tafoya, Santa Clara PuebloThe bottom of the jar is signed, dated, and numbered Camilio Sunflower Tafoya, Santa Clara Pueblo, 1975, 88A.

Santa Clara Pueblo artist Camilio Sunflower Tafoya (1902-1995) made traditional black carved pottery in the mid-twentieth century. After his son Joseph Lonewolf popularized the intricate sgraffito carving style, Camilio picked it up too. Camilio also made tall pottery jars. Initially, he and his daughter Grace Medicine Flower worked together and co-signed pieces. Later, he worked alone. Camilio was the son of Sara Fina and Geronimo Tafoya, and brother of Margaret Tafoya, which places him within one of the most significant families in the world of Native art.

Condition: excellent condition

Provenance: this Carved Redware Seed Pot with Figures and Corn is from the collection of Bob & Louise Sluder, dealers/collectors active from 1955 to 1990

Reference and Recommended Reading: The Pottery Jewels of Joseph Lonewolf by Jon Young. 1975 Dandick Publications

TAGS: Santa Clara PuebloSara Fina TafoyaMargaret Tafoya, Joseph LonewolfGrace Medicine FlowerCamilio Sunflower Tafoya

Alternate view of this seed jar showing the corn.

Camilio Sunflower Tafoya, Santa Clara Pueblo Artist
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