Southwestern Indian Pot

Southwestern Pot

Attributed to Lucy Garcia

Southwestern Pot

circa 20th century

ceramic

Knox College Art Collection

The artform of Acoma pottery has existed for thousands of years and the shape and decoration of this piece is representative of Acoma pottery traditions. Resembling an olla storage pot, it is painted in the Acomita Polychrome style with black and orange stripes, a zigzag pattern and a double bird motif. The Acoma Pueblo has been occupied since 1150 CE, when functional pottery was first made to store water or seeds. Acoma pottery was revived in the early 20th century by two prominent Acoma potters, Lucy Lewis and Marie Zieu Chino. Pottery is an important source of cultural pride to Native American communities and expresses their spirituality and reverence for nature. Acoma potters often give offerings of cornmeal to Mother Earth and pray for permission to take her clay for their vessels. The decorative patterns are composed of fertility symbols and images of sacred birds that are associated with the spiritual realm of the sky and life-giving rain.    

Caroline Hickey