POTTERY OF THE SOUTHWEST

Artists and Pieces from Southwestern Pottery - Anasazi to Zuni

Mojave

The four-spouted effigy is a shape unique to the Mojave. They made them with and without heads and sold them to tourists.

The Mojave Fort Indian Reservation sits along the Colorado River on the California and Arizona border. Parker, Arizona is home to the Mojave headquarters, museum and library.

Much of  Mojave history is unwritten; passed down orally through stories and ceremonies. The Mojave are ancestors of the Hokoham who were known for their red on buff pottery. They made utilitarian pots for storage, cooking, and eating that were were generally plain or decorated with simple geometric designs in yellow ochre which turned red in the firing process.

Sometime after 1883, the Mojave began creating clay female and male human figures for the tourist trade. They dressed the figurines in cloth and decorated them with necklaces of beads. The faces and bodies of the dolls were painted with pigment in traditional Mojave Indian patterns. Other forms of pottery made by the Mojave for sale to tourists included traditional ollas (water jars) and spoons, pitchers, cups, vessels with handles, and effigies of frogs, fish and birds.

Over the years the style has changed little due to the declining number of people and potters. Mojave pottery today is barely alive with only a few active potters, Elmer Gates and Betty Barrackman.

Mojave 1658 - Betty Barackman Norge - Red on Buff Frog Figurine

Red on Buff Frog Figurine

Betty Barackman Norge Details

Mojave 1654 - Betty Barackman - Effigy Vessel with Human Head

Effigy Vessel with Human Head

Betty Barackman Details