Nellie Douma Nampeyo, Hopi-Tewa Potter


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Nellie Nampeyo was one of three daughters of Nampeyo and Lesso.  She was between the oldest daughter Annie and the youngest Fannie.  She too was a potter and she lived to be 82 years old.  Nellie was taken to the Grand Canyon, when just a child, when her mother was convinced to spend the summer there at the newly constructed “Hopi House” built by the Fred Harvey Company.  Nampeyo was there to demonstrate pottery making for tourists but the whole family was intended to show the manner in which the Hopi lived.  In 1910, the business community in Chicago sponsored a United States Land and Irrigation Exposition in the Chicago Coliseum to draw attention to modern machinery as contrasted to what was considered primitive techniques of native cultures.  Ever aware of an opportunity to lure travelers to the southwest, the Santa Fe Railway commissioned a brown stucco pueblo style house on-site to be inhabited by Indians from Hopi.  Of course, Nampeyo was requested to represent the Hopi as the pottery maker, and her daughter Nellie, who was about 16 at the time, accompanied her parents on the Santa Fe train to Chicago.  Nellie was perhaps one of the very few young Hopi who had spent a summer at the Grand Canyon and ridden a train to Chicago.

Hopi Pueblo artist Nellie Nampeyo was one of three daughters of Nampeyo and Lesso.  She was between the oldest daughter Annie and the youngest Fannie.  She too was a potter and she lived to be 82 years old.  Nellie was taken to the Grand Canyon, when just a child, when her mother was convinced to spend the summer there at the newly constructed "Hopi House" built by the Fred Harvey Company.  Nampeyo was there to demonstrate pottery making for tourists but the whole family was intended to show the manner in which the Hopi people lived.

In 1910, the business community in Chicago sponsored a United States Land and Irrigation Exposition in the Chicago Coliseum to draw attention to modern machinery as contrasted to what was considered primitive techniques of native cultures.  Ever aware of an opportunity to lure travelers to the southwest, the Santa Fe Railway commissioned a brown stucco pueblo style house on-site to be inhabited by Indians from Hopi.  Of course, Nampeyo was requested to represent the Hopi as the pottery maker, and her daughter Nellie, who was about 16 at the time, accompanied her parents on the Santa Fe train to Chicago.  Nellie was perhaps one of the very few young Hopi who had spent a summer at the Grand Canyon and ridden a train to Chicago. 

Nellie Douma Nampeyo (1896 -1978) Ta-way “Sweet Corn Meal for Bread'' was the mother of Marie, Clara, Vernon, Lindberg, Augusta, Zella, Helen, and Edgar.

Reference: Hopi-Tewa Pottery: 500 Artist Biographies by Gregory Schaaf.

Relative Links: Nampeyo of HanoHopi PuebloSanta FeAnnie NampeyoFannie Nampeyo, Southwest Indian Pottery