Polacca polychrome water jar

Nampeyo Native American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 746

The peoples of the American Southwest believe in a complex mythology around the vitality of the unpredictable desert landscape and especially the life-giving power of rainwater and mountains. Their hand-built pottery features imagery that reflects their deep spirituality. Nampeyo was the first Southwest potter to become recognized by name outside her Hopi community and is renowned for her technical skills and aesthetic sensibility. Her career as a fine artist was supported by private and institutional collectors. On this vessel created for such clientele, she depicts katsinam (spirit beings) with variations in headdresses and colors in an arching, rectangular double-line frame.

Polacca polychrome water jar, Nampeyo (Native American, Hopi-Tewa, ca. 1859–1942), Clay and pigment, Hopi-Tewa, Native American

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