2005-01 Redware Basket-Formed Bowl

Object ID:
2005-01

Artist:
Vera N. Pooyouma

Culture:
Hopi - Hotevilla (Second Mesa)

Dimensions:
3.875"h X 10.625"w

This unsigned bowl, made of red clay with the lower half formed in a basket, was made by Vera Pooyouma, Hotevilla (Third Mesa). The top half of the pot was stone polished and the pot has fire clouds. Vera Pooyouma was about 85 years old when she made this pot and was still producing pots 20 years later.

For a photograph of Ms. Pooyouma taken about the same time she made bowl 2005-01, see National Geographic Society (1968:171). For a photograph of her 25 years later, see Teiwes (1996:118).

Forming clay pots in baskets is a very old technique—but rarely used today. According to Wyckoff (1985:151 and 153), traditionalist potters from Orabi and Hotevilla prefer to use red clay and “occasionally use a basket as a mold for the base of a bowl.” This technique was used to construct several other pots in the collection: a newer dipper also by Vera Pooyouma (1987-02), an older Hotevilla posole cooking pot (1998-05), a modern “utility” pot made by Polingaysi Qoyawayma (2005-08), a light tan utility bowl (2006-06), a stew bowl with interior design (2009-24), and an 1870-1920 piki bowl (2010-17).

Purchase History:
Purchased on 1/24/05 from Debbie Neal at The Old Territorial Shop, Scottsdale, AZ, after seeing it earlier in the month while in Arizona. Previously, a collector purchased this bowl from Vera between 1968 and 1972 after he met the potter at the 1968 Hopi Show at the Museum of Northern Arizona. As Deborah Neal described, “He went to visit her home at Hotevilla many times over the next few years…and always bought a pot or two from her…. He realized she was the only one making utility ware for sale at Third Mesa, so he began a collection. She was elderly at that time, but lived another twenty years!”