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Helen Naha

Helen Naha created distinctive pottery using the white clay slip throughout her career. The designs were all painted using bee-weed (black) and natural clay slips. She learned to make pottery from her mother-in-law, Paqua Naha (the first Frog Woman), yet had her own style in form, imagery, and composition. Her daughters, Sylvia and Rainy (Rainell), as well as her granddaughter Tyra Naha, are well-known potters. Helen Naha was mostly self-taught. Her designs were recreated from pottery fragments and bowls found at the Awatovi ruins of Hopi 1st Mesa. Her hallmark style was finely polished, hand-coiled pottery finished in white slip with black and red decorations. She would often take the extra step to polish the inside of a piece as well as the outside. Helen signed her pottery with a feather design, which resulted in her being called “Feather Woman” by her collectors.  Today, her large pots typically sell for several thousand dollars.   Helen won numerous awards for her pottery and was the matriarch of a family of renowned potters, including Rainy, Burrell and Sylvia Naha.  Helen Naha has been recognized by the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts for her body of work through the creation of the Helen Naha Memorial Award - For Excellence in Traditional Hopi Pottery.

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Naha, Helen “Featherwoman” – Bowl with Bird Migration Design (1970’s)

Helen “Feather Woman” Naha was known for her traditional white-ware pottery.  This bowl is from the 1970s and it has a series of birds in flight as the design.  If the design looks somewhat familiar, it should, as it is her variation on the classic “migration pattern”.  Here, Helen has made the design into birds in flight.  The top has the bird heads while the bottom the bird wing. There are intricate lines connecting the birds together. The piece is also polished on the inside!  The bowl is painted with bee-weed (black) and a red clay slip.  It was traditionally fired and there are slight color variations from the firing.  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is signed on the bottom with her hallmark feather.

$ 975.00
Naha, Helen “Feather Woman – Water Jar with Bat Wing Design (1970’s)

Helen Naha created distinctive pottery using the white kaolin clay slip throughout her career.  The designs were all painted using bee-weed (black) and natural clay slips.  She learned to make pottery from her mother-in-law, Paqua Naha yet had her own style in form, imagery, and composition. This jar has a wonderful shape with a low shoulder and slightly turned out rim.  The design is the classic batwing pattern which extends down below the shoulder.  The bottom has her hallmark “feather”.  It is really wonderful to note her attention to the little details and that even the entire inside of the jar is fully polished! Note the wonderful bold lines of Helen’s painting!  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 1,800.00
Naha, Helen “Feather Woman – Wide Jar with Bat Wing Design (1970’s)

Helen Naha created distinctive pottery using the white kaolin clay slip throughout her career.  The designs were all painted using bee-weed (black) and natural clay slips.  She learned to make pottery from her mother-in-law, Paqua Naha yet had her own style in form, imagery, and composition. This jar has a wide shoulder and a slight neck.  It is a shape which Helen frequently used on her pottery. The sides are painted with a batwing design which extends down below the shoulder.  Helen would often make the mouth of the vessel large enough so she could get her hand in to polished the inside. The interior of this jar is fully polished.  The bottom has her hallmark “feather”.   It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 975.00
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