10-Piece Miniature Red Nacimiento by Jo Povi


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Linda Jo′Povi Askan, Santa Clara Pueblo Potter

Artist signature of Linda Askan (Jo Povi), Santa Clara Pueblo PotterThis is a modern Nacimiento set made by Santa Clara potter Linda Askan, also known by her Indian name Jo′Povi, which means "cactus flower". The set is made of beige and red clay and features ten pieces commemorating the birth of Jesus. Included are Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, the little drummer boy, the three kings (depicted as a ram dancer, a buffalo dancer, and an eagle dancer), and a group of animals consisting of three sheep and a donkey.

Povi added a lot of detail to this nacimiento set, and most of the pieces have white and tan painted designs. These motifs are customary Santa Clara symbols. This set is a wonderful example of the blending of Catholicism with the traditional religion of the pueblo people.

Artist signature of Linda Askan (Jo Povi), Santa Clara Pueblo PotterThe bottoms of the pieces from this set are signed either Jo Povi or, on the bigger pieces with more room on the bottom, Linda Askan, Santa Clara Pueblo, 2017.

Linda Jo'Povi Askan is a potter of Santa Clara Pueblo and Diné of the Navajo Nation descent. She makes traditional red and black Santa Clara pottery, as well as various types of figurines. Linda creates both the traditional Santa Clara Pueblo black-on-black, carved blackware and redware jars, bowls, wedding vases, storytellers, Nativity sets, figures: bears, turtles, coyotes, skunks, and fish.

She began potting in 1984 and was taught her craft by her mother and grandmother. Both her grandmother and her mother, Marie Sisneros Askan, were instrumental in teaching Linda how to create pottery in the traditional way. Linda's sister Birdell Bourdon is also a potter.

Linda's native Tewa name, given by her grandmother Adelaide (Lala) Sisneros, is Jo'Povi which means cactus flower.

Linda Jo'Povi Askan (1954-) Cactus Flower attended the Institute of American Indian Arts after graduating from Espanola High School. She is also a Respiratory Therapy Technician and worked in local hospitals before working as a potter full-time.

Condition: good condition with minor damage to Joseph's left hand.

Provenance: this 10-Piece Miniature Red Nacimiento by Jo Povi is from a private collection

Recommended Reading: Nacimientos - Nativity Scenes by Southwest Indian Artisans by Guy and Doris Monthan

TAGS: Santa Clara PuebloSouthwest Indian Pottery FigurinesDiné of the Navajo NationMarie Sisneros AskanLinda Jo′Povi Askan

Alternate close-up view of the three wise men.

Linda Jo′Povi Askan, Santa Clara Pueblo Potter
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