Hopi pottery1

Hopi Pottery is a historic art that has been passed down through many generations. The Hopi Indians have lived in the same area of the Southwest (present day Arizona) even before the time of Columbus. The prehistoric ancestors of the Hopi Indians were the Anasazi Indians. The Hopi Indians lived on desert land at the foot of the mesas. Hopi women made beautiful clay bowls, baskets, and jewelry. The art of pottery making came to these early Pueblo Indians by Meso-American Indians around 700A.D. Between this time and 1400 A.D., grey utilitarian ware was being produced for everyday needs which eventually evolved into a more colorful and decorative style of pottery.
The 14th century became an extremely active period for the Hopi potters. New clays and firing techniques were employed transforming soft textured pots into harder, smoother and denser ones. The materials and techniques evolving during that time period resulted in a new form of pottery called sikyatki polychrome. This style, which involves painting directly on the polished body of the pot itself, continued until the late 1700’s. Nevertheless, because of wars with the Spanish and other minor tribal disputes with the Navajo and Apache, Hopi pottery production almost completely vanished around 1800.
However, in 1860, a woman named Nampeyo revived pottery making. She was considered to be responsible for the renaissance in Hopi pottery. Nampeyo single-handedly revived the art of pottery making by exclusively using the polychrome technique. Moreover, by the late 1800’s, as the railroad was introduced to Arizona, it brought numerous traders who sought to fill the demands of an enlarging tourist market. Therefore, Nampeyo’s pottery was highly prized and other Hopis, inspired by her, began fashioning their own work using similar techniques.
The technique the Hopis use in order to build their pots is a simple, yet a very complicated process. This method;s called the coiling met…