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Maricopa PotteryMaricopa Pottery

The Maricopa Pottery and Maricopa Tribal people are best known for their red clay pottery work. Various jars and bowls were created for essential needs, made of natural materials. The clay was collected at various locations throughout the area. Natural dyes were used to depict geometrical designs. The Maricopa people were small bands living along the lower Gila and Colorado rivers. Each of these bands migrated eastward at different times. The Xalychidom (Maricopa of Lehi), left around 1825-1830. The last of these bands is said to have left the Colorado River in the late 1830's. Eventually, these bands came together and became collectively known as the Maricopa. As they migrated eastward, they came upon the Pima tribe and established a relationship. Both tribes provided protection against the Yuman and Apache tribes. Some of the Maricopa (mostly Xalychidom Piipaash) began migrating to the area now known as Lehi on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community because water from the Gila River was becoming scarce. When the Salt River Indian Community was established in 1879, the reservation included both tribes within these boundaries.

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Sunn, Mabel – Bowl with Cloud and Rain Designs (1970’s)

This is a classic bowl by Mabel Sunn from the 1970’s. The piece is made using a paddle-and-anvil technique and twice fired.  The black designs are derived from a mixture of mesquite sap and cactus spines.  Today, there are very few Maricopa artists making pottery.  This bowl is painted with a complex cloud and rain design around the shoulder.  It is also polished on the inside.  The bowl is signed on the bottom in the clay, ‘Mabel Sunn”.   It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 250.00
Sunn, Mabel – Jar with Mountain Designs (1970’s)

This is a small jar by Mabel Sunn from the 1970’s. The piece is made using an paddle-and-anvil technique and twice fired.  The black designs are derived from a mixture of mesquite sap and cactus spines.  Today, there are very few Maricopa artists making pottery.  This jar has a mountain design on the sides and a patined rim.  The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay, ‘M. Sunn”.   It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 100.00
Juan, Mary – Jar with Wind Designs (1960’s)

Mary Juan was a cousin of noted potter Ida Redbird. She was one of the original members of the 1938 Maricopa Pottery Cooperative. She was part of the early Revival Period artists from 1937-41. She continued to create pottery until the 1960’s. Mary Juan was known for the finely polished deep red slip, graceful shapes, and finely painted designs.  This jar has a wind motif painted around the sides.  There is her signature “wave” pattern around the neck and the jar has a slightly turned out neck. This piece is traditionally handcrafted from native clay with the paddle and anvil method, iron oxide red slip is decorated with black mesquite sap paint and pit fired.  This jar is signed on the bottom, “Mary Juan”.  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 250.00
Sunn, Mabel – Bowl with Indented Sides (1970’s)

This is a classic bowl by Mabel Sunn from the 1970’s. The piece is made using an paddle-and-anvil technique and twice fired.  The black designs are derived from a mixture of mesquite sap and cactus spines.  Today, there are very few Maricopa artists making pottery.  This bowl has 7 indentions on the sides.  There is a black sap painted sun separating the mountains or mesas. It is a wonderful combination of form and design.  The bowl is signed on the bottom in the clay, ‘M. Sunn”.   It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 275.00
Redbird, Ida – Bowl with Indented Sides (1960’s)

Ida Redbird is one of the best known of the potters involved in the revival of Maricopa pottery from 1937-40. She was featured in Arizona Highways in 1948. Her pottery is made using a paddle-and-anvil technique and they are twice fired.  The black designs are derived from a mixture of mesquite sap and cactus spines.  This bowl has indented sides to create an undulating appearance.  There is a sun and cloud design on each of the four sides.    It is in good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is signed, “Ida Redbird” on the bottom.

$ 350.00
Naranjo, Kevin – Bowl with Bear and Eagle Designs

Kevin Naranjo creates beautifully incised pottery with realistic scenes.  This miniature jar is amazingly intricate with designs. The rim has cloud pattern and below that is an eagle feather design.  There is a central medallion with a realistic bear. Around the side of the bowl as it is turned there is an eagle, bear paw tracks and at the very bottom an avanyu (water serpent).  To accentuate his designs Kevin creates sienna areas in contrast to the black. This highlights the rim, bear paw tracks and eagle.  The bowl itself is very highly polished which gives added dimension to the designs.  The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay.

$ 425.00
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