POTTERY OF THE SOUTHWEST

Artists and Pieces from Southwestern Pottery - Anasazi to Zuni

Acoma Pueblo

Acoma is renowned for their thin walled pottery featuring black, white and orange geometric designs on a velvety white background.

Acoma is derived from the Keresan word Aak’u, meaning “a place always prepared.” Acoma Pueblo consists of four villages sprawled over 400 hundred square miles of fertile valleys and rocky mesas located 50 miles west of Albuquerque, NM. Situated atop a mesa overlooking the valley far below, this “Sky City” dates back 1,000 years.  It is is one of the oldest living communities that is still inhabited today.

An ancient sea once covered the great Southwest. Kaolin, a white chalky substance formed by the weathering of sedimentary deposits over the eons, is a key ingredient used in pottery making. Acoma is renowned for their thin walled pottery featuring black and orange geometric designs on a velvety white background.

Traditional Acoma pottery design consists of polychrome birds (parrots or macaws), rainbows, thunderbirds, and cornmeal flowers. The geometric stylized shapes and animals painted black or brown on white pottery were inspired by the ancient Anasazi, Mogollon and Mimbres cultures. The lightning, thunderclouds, raindrop and hatching motifs symbolize the relationship between earth, water and the cycle of life. These graphic geometric designs started evolving during the 1940’s into the contemporary fine line and eye-dazzling pieces being made today which are still applied using a yucca brush.

Acoma - Marvis Aragon and Rebecca Lucario - Fine Line Double Canteen and Olla

Fine Line Double Canteen and Olla

Marvin Aragon, Rebecca Lucario

Acoma 214 - Carmel Lewis Haskaya - Black on White Cylinder

Black on White Cylinder

Carmel Lewis Haskaya Details

Acoma 222 - Artist Unknown - Polychrome Triple Canteen

Polychrome Triple Canteen

Artist Unknown Details

Acoma 267 - Mary Histia - Polychrome Turtle Figurine

Polychrome Turtle Figurine

Mary Histia Details

Acoma 317 - Artist Unknown - Polychrome Olla

Polychrome Olla

Artist Unknown Details