The inscribed and painted figures represent life around a summer hogon. Betty Manygoats lives in the Shonto-Cow Springs area of Arizona.
The spirited folksiness of this design is in sharp contrast to the perfect “fine art” pottery being produced at Hopi. According to Wright and Bell (1987:27), Betty Manygoats “is one of the few Western Reservation potters who applies paint to some of her …design motifs—particularly those depicting scenes from everyday life.” The article includes a photograph of the artist. The 9/07 issue (pp.18-20) of Leading The Way newspaper has an article on Navajo pottery in general, with a focus on Betty Manygoats [on file].
“Betty Manygoats leads a simple life in the remote reaches of the Navajo reservation. She doesn’t attend art shows, she doesn’t speak English, and the most important reason she began making pots was to help support her family of nine daughters and one son” (Twin Peaks Trading Post, 2005:1).
For a more extended discussion of Betty Manygoats and a photograph, see Rosenak (1994:132-134). She may be the daughter of Aleta Bitsi (1991-08).
The painted/inscribed scene on this pot reproduces my memory of the week in July 1960 I spent living with a Navajo family in their summer hogon near the Navajo Mountain Trading Post in Utah.