Object: Bowl

Daisy Hooee Nampeyo
Arizona, United States
ca. 1940
Materials: Ceramic, & clay slip

This bowl is an example of “revival” Hopi pottery and was made by Daisy Hooee Nampeyo. Daisy Nampeyo was the granddaughter of the famous turn of the century Hopi potter Nampeyo. Daisy first learned to make pottery as a young girl from her grandmother but, in her early teen years she began to lose her eyesight. Luckily, Anita Baldwin, a wealthy art patron and daughter of southern California land developer E.J. Baldwin volunteered to take Daisy to California where she was able to have surgery to correct her vision. Daisy lived with Mrs. Baldwin for

Awatovi ruins

several years, and Baldwin even paid for her to study art at the School of Fine Arts in Paris. After her time in Paris, Daisy returned to her family and began producing an impressive body of work in both pottery and jewelry. As her grandmother had before her, Daisy studied ancestral pottery for inspiration, spending a great deal of time examining pottery excavated by Harvard University in the mid-1930s from the Awatovi site in Arizona.

Traditional Hopi pottery is made using a coil technique rather than with a pottery wheel. The designs are hand painted on with yucca leaf brushes and the pottery was fired in an open area surrounded by burning coals or sheep dung rather than in a kiln. Many designs can be found on Hopi pottery including: stair-step symbols representing the kiva, bird symbols, the bear track, the avanyu or water serpent, and others. This bowl has a variation of the bear track design as its primary decoration.

The following video demonstrates how a modern Maricopa artist fires his pottery in a way similar to traditional Hopi potters.

[Kathryn S. (Barr) McCloud]

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Ethnology @ SNOMNH is an experimental weblog for sharing the collections of the Division of Ethnology at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History.


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