American Indian Pueblo Pottery

Want to learn more about American Indian Pueblo pottery? Read on for interesting facts and info on traditional American Indian pottery made by the Pueblo people…

Pottery is regarded as being one of the earliest crafts to have been picked up by Native American tribes. During the initial years of pottery, pots were basically created to perform utilitarian functions and were not considered to be works of art. Pots were used for cooking, carrying seeds and food as well as for storage purposes. However with time the pueblo Native Americans started experimenting with pottery creating pots of different sizes and adorning them with different designs.

This was a revolutionary concept in pottery at that time. The earliest American Indian Pueblo pottery was adorned with thumb and hand prints along with corrugations. After some time they started adding color clay slips that were used to create painted designs of geometrical symbols and creatures found in nature. Much of the design work on Pueblo pottery is meant to glorify mythological characters as well as game. The decorative pottery also satisfied the local’s desire to own works of art.

Native American Pueblo Pottery Traditions

Archaeologists have been able to unearth Pueblo pottery from a variety of different sites across the United States and Canada. Some of the shards of prehistoric pots were discovered in the ancient Hopi Village in Sikyatki. On detailed observation it was discovered that these destroyed pieces of pottery were created by a local woman by the name of Nampeyo.

After being excavated the design patterns found on these ancient pieces of Pueblo pottery were named after the location. Soon enough her pottery designs gained prominence all over the world. Her family has been responsible for continuing this tradition up till today.

One of the most remarkable advances in Pueblo pottery was made by a married couple of potters by the name of Maria Martinez and Julian. The couple discovered a new firing technique using which they could give their pots a black finish. The above-mentioned two pottery artists were amongst the first Native American Indians involved in the art of pottery making that used to sign every piece that they produced. Hence was born signature Native American pottery which is renowned for its beauty and rich traditional heritage.

Today the historical works of pottery by Nampeyo along with the creations of her off springs are considered to be highly revered collectible works of art. Other than that the Native American Pueblo pottery that is sold for the highest prices in the market include works by the couple of Maria Martinez and Julian along with their son Popovi Da and daughter-in-law, Santana. Their grandson Tony Da is also famous for his Pueblo pottery.

The Pueblo family was not the only Native American group to have produced magnificent works of pottery. In fact many other Native American Indian tribes including Navajo, Zuni, Hopi, Laguna, Zia, Pojoaque and Nambe are renowned for their contribution to this art form. However the pueblos are credited for initiating pottery and developing many new techniques along the way. They were the first to create large sized pots and were also the first to adorn their pots with creative designs.



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