Daisy Hooee Nampeyo (1906 - pre-1998) Tobacco Flower
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Daisy Hooee Nampeyo was the granddaughter of Nampeyo of Hano and the daughter of Willie and Annie Healing. She was born into the Corn Clan of her mother but was named Tobacco Flower after the Tobacco Clan of her father. The name, Daisy, was given to her by a field nurse at the government agency on First Mesa. Although she was born at Hano, the family moved to a new village called Polacca at the base of First Mesa.
Daisy spent many of her formative years with her grandmother and learned how to make pottery at a very early age. Like many starting potters, her early pottery was not the best but she had an excellent teacher in Nampeyo and soon began to create wonderful pieces and used designs from pottery shards she found at Sikyatki.
When she was still quite young, she began to lose her vision. She was determined to continue making pottery so she agreed to have an operation to remove the cataracts that had developed as a result of an infection. The operation was paid for by a wealthy heiress from California named Anita Baldwin. Daisy stayed with Anita for several years while her eyes healed but returned to Polacca during the summers.
During the time she lived with Anita Baldwin, Daisy was sent to study at the L'Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris to study painting and sculpture. Anita ultimately took Daisy around the world to expose her to other forms of art and sculpture.
When she was in her 20s, she returned to Hopi briefly before returning to California to continue her art studies. She returned to Hopi again when her mother, Annie Healing began to decline in health. Daisy decided it was time to stay at Hopi Pueblo and stop traveling. She married Ray Naha, who had asked for her hand in marriage during her previous return. They had three children but were divorced and she returned to her mother's house with the children.
While the children were still quite young, she met and married Leo Poblano from Zuni Pueblo. He was and is considered the best silversmith from Zuni and they collaborated on several pieces. Daisy started to carve figures but continued to coil pottery. After Leo was killed in an accident while fighting a fire in California she returned to First Mesa to work with her sister, Rachel Namingha Nampeyo. She went on to marry another silversmith from Zuni Pueblo, Sidney Hooee and began teaching pottery making at Zuni. Her extensive travels and exposure to art around the world prepared her for this final phase of her career as a potter.
Photo courtesy of Rick Dillingham. Photo reference: Fourteen Families In Pueblo Pottery by Rick Dillingham.
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