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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 Snake Design (1960’s)

This is an iconic bowl by Mabel Sunn from the 1960’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.   Mabel was well-known for the relief snakes on her pottery. T his piece has the bowl polished red with the snake in relief and polished tan. 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.

$ 425.00
Redbird, Ida – Jar with Mountain Designs (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 jar has a round body and a short neck. There are mountain designs on both the neck and the body of the piece.  It is complex in its patterns and the surface is highly polished.  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is signed, “Ida Redbird” on the bottom.

$ 300.00
Sunn, Mabel – Large Bowl with Wind Designs (1967) with Ribbon

This is a large wide bowl by Mabel Sunn from 1967. 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.   Mabel was well-known for pottery style and this large bowl is fully polished on the inside and outside.  It is painted around the shoulder with a wind design.  It received a First Place ribbon from the 1967 Arizona State Fair.  The bowl is signed on the bottom in the clay, ‘Mabel Sunn”.   It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 550.00
Juan, Mary – Red & Tan Jar with Cloud 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 1960s. Mary Juan was known for the finely polished deep red slip, graceful shapes, and finely painted designs.  This jar is polished red on the top and tan below the neck. The top area is painted with a cloud and lightning design.   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.

$ 225.00
Redbird, Ida – Long Neck Jar with Handles (1970) With Ribbon

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 is an exceptional piece of her pottery.  The jar has a round shoulder and the classic elongated neck. There are two handles extending down from the neck to the shoulder.  The jar is painted with scorpions near the base and cloud designs on the neck.  It received a second place ribbon from the 1970 Gallup Inter-tribal Ceremonials.  It is signed on the bottom, “Ida Redbird”.  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  Definitely an exciting piece of history!

$ 875.00
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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