Borts-Medlock, Autumn – Large Parrot With Flower Designs and Egg
The effigy parrots by Autumn Borts-Medlock have certainly become a signature piece of her pottery. The parrots are coil built and then carved and stone polished. This is one of the largest of her parrots we have had. The piece is coil built and fully carved. The designs are plants and flowers which encompass the surface. The piece is polished red, tan and green. Note as well the etched designs on the flowers and leaves! The area around the eyes is matte white and there are inset turquoise for the eyes. The beak is also fully polished red. The egg has a flower motif and again was polished tan, red and green. They make an amazing pair! The piece also won the “Best of Class” at the Cherokee Art Market in the Fall of 2018.
So, why so many parrots on Pueblo and Hopi pottery? In the pre-contact era, there was a small parrot which was indigenous to the southwest area. As well, parrot feathers were traded with Central American tribes and were highly valued. Today there are Parrot Clans at Hopi and parrot feathers are used throughout the Pueblo world in various ceremonies and dances. So, it is not unexpected to see parrots featured on pottery from the various pueblos and Hopi. They are certainly part of the cultural and historical background of these amazing potters!