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Daisy Hooee Nampeyo holding a piece of her pottery with her “Tobacco Leaf” signature. She is sitting next to her grandmother, Nampeyo of Hano.

Daisy Hooee Nampeyo

Daisy Hooee Nampeyo (1906-1994) was a daughter of Annie Nampeyo Healing and a granddaughter of Nampeyo of Hano.  Her daughter Shirley Benn and granddaughter Cheryl Naha Nampeyo continue the family pottery-making tradition.  She was born into the Corn Clan of her mother but was named Tobacco Flower after the Tobacco Clan of her father. The name Daisy was given to her by a field nurse at the government agency on First Mesa. Although she was born at Hano, the family moved to a new village called Polacca at the base of First Mesa.  Daisy spent many of her formative years with her grandmother and learned how to make pottery at a very early age. Like many starting potters, her early pottery was not the best but she had an excellent teacher in Nampeyo and soon began to create wonderful pieces and used designs from pottery shards she found at Sikyatki.

When she was still quite young, she began to lose her vision. She was determined to continue making pottery so she agreed to have an operation to remove cataracts that had developed as a result of an infection. The operation was paid for by a wealthy heiress from California named Anita Baldwin. Daisy stayed with Anita for several years while her eyes healed. She returned to Polacca during the summers.  Anita Baldwin sent Daisy to L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris to study painting and sculpture. Anita ultimately took Daisy around the world to expose her to other forms of art and sculpture.  When her mother Annie Healing’s health began to deteriorate Daisy returned to Hopi. She married Ray Naha with whom she had three children. She divorced Ray and then married Leo Poblano from Zuni. He was famous for his jewelry and Daisy began to make jewelry and carved figures along with her pottery. After Leo’s death, she returned to First Mesa to work with her sister Rachel Namingha Nampeyo. Her last marriage was to Sidney Hooee, again from Zuni. At this time she began teaching pottery-making at Zuni.