Isleta PuebloIsleta Pueblo produces red-clay pottery decorated with eye-catching polychrome motifs featuring red and black floral and geometric designs on a white background.
Traditional Name: Tue-I, “Little Island”. The Pueblo of Isleta is nestled in the Manzano Mountains along the Rio Grande Valley just 13 miles south of Alburquerque, NM. It is one of the largest pueblos, covering 329 square miles of New Mexico mesa lands. It was first settled around the year 1200 AD as part of the Anasazi western migration. Very little is known about early pottery production at Isleta Pueblo.
In the late nineteenth century, members of Laguna Pueblo moved to Isleta and from 1890-1930 made tourist pottery using white slip imported from Laguna. Pottery improved when Laguna families moved to the Isleta village of Oraibi, thud influencing pottery technique and style. Prior to 1890, Isleta pottery was mostly undecorated utilitarian ware made with sand tempering agents which resulted in thick walls. Tempering the clay with pot shards allow for thinner walls.
Pottery style changed too with the growing popularity of tourist ware which ignited the production of chalky white slipped pieces with eye-catching polychrome motifs featuring red and black, floral and geometric designs.