lthough the three Hopi mesas have nine villages, First Mesa and the village of Hano have dominated Hopi pottery since the 1890's. First Mesa potters use Hopi's unique clay to make great quantities of some of the finest of all pueblo pottery. Originally, Hopi ancestors traded yelloware from the 700's on, but under pressure from Spanish, Apache, and Navajo, the wandering and trading diminished, and pottery production had almost disappeared by 1800.
lthough some books date the beginnings of
contemporary Hopi pottery design to the fateful meeting of ethnologist J. Walter Fewkes
and Nampeyo in 1896, a trader by the name of Thomas Keam had potters reproducing archaic
pottery in 1880. Whatever the real story entails, the thirty-six year old Nampeyo
translated the ancient Sikyatki designs into innovative and beautiful symbols of her own,
thereby launching herself on a career that brought her celebrity until her death at
nd with each and every artist who emerges anew generation after generation, the spirit touched creations communicate the miraculous, clay is wet, shaped, and fired. And from the heart and hands of the artist, clay becomes pottery and pottery becomes art.
February 14, 2004
Maintained by Golden Ear