2013-20 Jar with Sea Creatures

Object ID:
2013-20

Artist:
Kai Zacarias

Dimensions:
3.75” h X 3.563” w

Kai (“Keanu Zacarias”), like his sister Munsi, is seven generations removed from Nampeyo through the line of her eldest daughter Annie. This is about as long a run of family potters as I am likely to find in this lifetime.

Kai made this pot when he was 13 years old. For a tile he helped decorate when he was three years old, see 2009-21. Sister Munsi was involved with making bowl 1999-10 when she was 3. Munsi also helped decorate small bowl 2009-22 when she was five and independently made vase 2013-19 when she was 17 years old. For pots Munsi’s mother made when she was seven, 26, and 33 years old, see 1994-18, 1998-09, and 2006-13. For pots by his grandmother, see here in the Index of Artists

The pot is evenly formed, lightweight, and has been polished on the interior of the neck as well as externally.

The design on bowl 2013-20 is entirely Kai’s own invention. Two hammerhead sharks swim around the exterior, perhaps a mother and her child. Two turtles of different design swim toward the lip. A large red seahorse (looking something like an avanyu) slips by. A large jellyfish dwarfs a stripped fish and a shark.

An eight-pointed black star is painted on the upper portion of the pot. Raised above the surface of the star and partially obliterating it are blotches of pale, rough clay. About three-dozen dots of this same material are scattered over the surface of the pot. I am not sure what these are, but my guess is that they are intended to represent bubbles of air, as one is likely to see in an aerated fish tank. I’m just not sure.

The formation and decoration of this small vase are done with skill and imagination, since there has not been an ocean at Hopi for about 45 million years.

Purchase History:
About two years ago, I asked Jean if she could request Kai to make this pot. Kai did so during several visits his grandmother’s home. When I visited Jean in March of this year the pot was made but not sanded, polished or painted. While I was at Hopi for the 2013 Barbara Chester Award ceremony, Jean called me in Texas and said the pot was ready. Mike McMullen and I picked it up at Jean’s home on 10/10/13. [No receipt.]