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Hopi Pottery

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Hopi Pottery is created on the Hopi Reservation located in northeastern Arizona surrounded by the Navajo Reservation. Hopi consists of three Mesas, and each Mesa has several villages.

Modern Hopi pottery makers use traditional methods to create their artworks.  The clay is collected from the Hopi mesas then kneaded and processed by hand.  The pots are then carefully hand constructed using the coil and scrape techniques their ancestors taught them.  The paints used are from naturally occurring materials.  For example, black paint is made by boiling Bee-weed for a long time until it becomes very dark and thick. It is then dried into little cakes which are wrapped in corn husk until ready for use. It is called guaco.  The intricate and beautiful designs are painted freehand using a yucca leaf brush. The pots are then fired in the open air out on the mesa using sheep dung and cedarwood as heat sources.