Hopi pot, Les Namingha Nampeyo, June 1993. Born in 1967, Les is of the same generation as Darlene Vigil, Steve Lucas and Camille (Hisi). His mother did not make much pottery and, like these others in his generation, he learned pottery from Dextra Quotskuyva. He began potting only three years before this pot was made; in 1993 he won a second place award at Indian Market. Although 1994-09 is not an example, Les is capable of incredibly thin ware. The design on this pot (like some early “Old Lady” Nampeyo pots and modern Acoma ware) is not Sikyatki derived but reflects Anasazi, especially Tularosa, design. The pot is nicely blushed.
On 10/9/09, I spoke with Les in the Blue Rain Gallery, Santa Fe, about this pot. He explained that for three years (1990-1992) he learned pottery making from Dextra during his summer vacations from college. Pot 1994-09 was made just after he graduated and during his first month of full-time pottery making. He is quoted in Rick Dillingham’s book Fourteen Families in Pueblo Pottery:
“I started (making pottery) four summers ago. My grandmother [Celecita Vicente] at Zuni was inspiring. I picked up something from her in terms of pottery and four summers ago I really wanted to learn and Dextra offered to help. Dextra is a really good teacher…and I have picked up her standards. (I) also got a lot of spiritual things from her. It was hard going back and forth to school and I’d have to begin all over each summer (1994:56).”
For other pots by Les in this collection, see the “Artist List.”
For a picture of Les, his comments about learning pottery, and a picture of one of his pots, see Dillingham (1994:56) and King, 2017:276-285).