Tall Hopi vase, fine-line design by Jake Koopee Nampeyo. Born on March 31, 1970, Jake has been variously described to me as a dental student in South Carolina or a South Carolina University dropout. His grandmother is Marie Koopee (see 1994-17); his mother is Georgia Koopee (see 2007-06). Jake Koopee’s Hopi name is Pato meaning “when the corn bursts.”

This vase is unusual in that shape is not at all Hopi (more Grecian than Hopi) but the design is the classic “Old Lady” Nampeyo fine-line design (see also, 1983-01, 1991-05 and 1994-12). The design is very fine, almost too perfect, the firing blushed but not exceptionally patterned. Overall the pot design and shape seem to work well together. For other pots in the collection by Jake Koopee, see the Artist List.

The description (above) was written close to the time I bought the jar in 1994. Fifteen years later, on 11/19/09, I visited with Jake in his home on First Mesa. Using his iPhone he was able to access my collection website and see images of this pot. He remembers it well, in part because it was one of 8 pots fired together, 4 of them versions of this fine-line migration design. A brother helped unload the cooled kiln fire, carrying the three fine-line pots other than 1994-11. He placed these pots on the sloped hood of a parked car; they rolled off and broke. Jar 1994-11 was thus the only fine-line pot that survived, since it was carried into the house by Jake. Jake remembers selling jar 1994-11 to Steve Pickle, then manager of the gift shop of the Museum of Northern Arizona. Jake says that he was particularly careful to draw the fine lines close together following the belief that the closer the lines, the longer the potter will live. The fine lines are exceptionally close on this vase, but ironically Jake died tragically young on 6/14/11, age 41 years.

Purchase History:
Purchased on 5/23/94 from the Museum Shop, Museum of Northern Arizona.