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San Juan Pottery

San Juan Pottery, or Ohkay Owingeh

San Juan Pottery, or Ohkay Owingeh (formerly San Juan Pueblo). English Pronunciation: "O-keh 0-weeng-eh" Traditional Name: Ohkay Owingeh The Ohkay Owingeh people have a complex and fascinating cultural history. They divide the physical world into three parts: the village and surrounding land, which is the realm of the women, the second circle is comprised of the hills and mesa surrounding the first circle and is the realm of both men and women: the third circle emcompasses all beyond the second and is the world of hunting and protection form a hostile outside world, and this is the exclusive realm of the men. All ceremonies and dances are centered on this division of influences and relate to various aspects of daily and seasonal life. Great importance is placed upon the teaching of responsibility. Although many Ohkay Owingeh people work outside the Pueblos, most of them return for ritual occasions and ceremonies. Their language is Tewa.

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Tapia, Tom – Bowl with Katsina and Sun Medallions

This is a larger bowl by Tom Tapia.  It is highly polished and designed with four medallions.  One is a Sun, while the others are different katsina figures.  Separating the medallions are kivas with ladders.  Around the base is another katsina figure which encircles the piece and has feather and rain designs.  The bowl was fired black and then the reddish clay coloration is added after the firing.  It is this color combination for which Tom achieved recognition.  The bowl is signed, “Tom Tapia”.  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 600.00
Naranjo, Dominguita Sisneros – Bowl with Incised Mesa Designs

Dominguita Sisneros Naranjo is a daughter of noted Ohkay Owingeh potter Tomasita Montoya and a sister of Rosita de Herrera. This bowl is coil built and the top rim is pushed down in an undulating manner.  The top and bottom are fully polished red.  Interestingly, this is either an early piece of her pottery, or she found some of her mother’s old slip, as the red on this piece is the deep red from the earlier Ohkay Owingeh pottery. The body of the bowl is tan polished and incised with a mesa and cloud motif. The incised area is lightly slipped with a micaceous clay.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Dominguita Sisneros”.  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 175.00
Montoya, Tomasita – Incised Red & Tan Water Jar (1960’s)

Tomasita Montoya is one of the early revivalists in San Juan pottery.  She was one of the original seven San Juan potters who revived the art form in the 1930’s.  The Pueblo was renown for their pottery but by about 1890 there were no potters left. In 1930 Regina Cata organized a pottery study group at San Juan Pueblo with the intent of revitalizing pottery production. The group studied ancient potsherds of wares made at San Juan in earlier times and selected Potsuwi‘i Incised Ware (1450-1500) as a basis for a contemporary pottery type.  This jar is one of her classic incised water jars.  The neck and base are both fully polished red.  The center section is incised with a square pattern.  There is just a bit of mica used to highlight the incised designs.  This jar is in good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Tomasita Montoya”.

$ 500.00
Tapia, Tom & Sue – Bowl with Sun and Kiva Opening

This bowl was made and polished by Sue Tapia and etched with designs by Tom Tapia.  It is a very intricate piece of his work as it is fully designed.  The shape of the bowl has a kiva step design on one side.  Around the shoulder is a water serpent and as the bowl is turned there is a Pueblo drummer and Deer Dancer.  The next scene is a Pueblo and bear fetish.  Below the kiva step carved rim is a sun design.  The reddish coloration is added after the firing.  The bowl is signed, “Tom & Sue Tapia”.   It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 600.00
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