2003-01 Round-Bottomed Jar with Avian and Spiral Design.

Object ID:
2003-01

Artist:
Unknown

Culture:
Hopi

Dimensions:
3.25” h X 5.375” w

Round-bottomed (1920s to 1930s?) Hopi seed jar with two upper framing lines and two polychromatic avian decorative elements with spirals and dots. The construction of the two designs has a similar layout, but one is more carefully drawn than the other is. The rest of the pot is undecorated, which highlights the two designs.

The spiral elements are unusual, the decoration seems spontaneous, and though imperfect, these elements combine to give the pot an energy and lightness that makes me smile.

Years after buying jar 2003-01 I purchased a 3-lug canteen by Nampeyo (2017-05).  This canteen carries the same avian design with a curlicue head that is found on jar 2003-01.  Moreover, in researching canteen 2017-05, I identified two other Nampeyo pots with this design.  Thus it now seems likely that jar 2003-01 is by Nampeyo.  The design seems unique to her work.

Purchase History:
Purchased on 1/14/03 on eBay from Jane Othman, Minneapolis, MN. She writes that “the pot came from an estate in St. Paul MN…. There were quite a few Native American items there [that] must have come from a ‘snowbird,’ someone who spends the winters in Arizona….”