Vintage Pueblo Wood Tableta with Green Mineral Pigment [SOLD]

C4330D-tableta.jpg

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Unknown Maker
  • Category: Dance Paraphernalia
  • Origin: Pueblo Indians
  • Medium: wood, pigment, string, leather
  • Size:
    17” tall x 13” diameter tableta;
    22-½” tall on stand
  • Item # C4330D
  • SOLD

Headpieces worn by women in ceremonial dances have become known by the Spanish term, tablitas, literally, “little planks” in Spanish.  The stepped tops of tablitas represent clouds, mountains or kiva steps, depending on one’s interpretation.  I believe that the Pueblo’s preference is clouds.

Older tablitas were made from wood generally salvaged from shipping crates obtained from the local merchants. More modern ones have been made from plywood. This tablita was made in the old fashioned manner.  Some early tablitas were made from two or more pieces of wood anchored together by drilling holes and cinching them with rawhide or sinew. This one was fashioned from a single piece of wood. There is a curve to the wood, whether accidentally or on purpose is not known.

The green paint appears to be a mineral pigment.  The edges of the tablita were painted with black and white paint, most of which has chipped off.  The cutout design was outlined in white paint.

The tablita has attached to it a leather strap that fits behind the head of the wearer and provides stability when being worn.  Woven cotton string provides similar cinching on the forehead. Two woven cotton strings tie under the chin. A metal stand is provided for display purposes.


Condition: good condition with some loss of paint and pigment.  The tablita separated on the left facing part and has been glued and secured with string ties.

Provenance: this Vintage Pueblo Wood Tableta with Green Mineral Pigment is from the estate of a former client.

Recommended Reading: Rain: Native Expressions from the American Southwest by Ann Marshall

Relative Links: Dance Paraphernalia

Close up view of a section of this tableta.


Unknown Maker
  • Category: Dance Paraphernalia
  • Origin: Pueblo Indians
  • Medium: wood, pigment, string, leather
  • Size:
    17” tall x 13” diameter tableta;
    22-½” tall on stand
  • Item # C4330D
  • SOLD

C4330D-tableta.jpgC4330D-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.