Leno, Juana – Small Turtle Back Design Jar (1960s)
Juana Leno is one of the four revivalist matriarchs of contemporary Acoma pottery (including Marie Z. Chino, Lucy Lewis, and Jessie Garcia). She was a daughter of Lupita and Jose Vallo and learned to make pottery from her grandmother Eulilia Vallo. This bowl is from the 1960s. It is thin-walled and intricately painted. The design is often called a “turtleback” pattern, after the squares on the shell of a turtle. Here they are a series of interlocking squares. While it is a small jar, there is just a slight shoulder and turn out of the rim. The jar was traditionally fired, which gives it the coloration on the surface. It is signed on the bottom, “Juana Leno”. It is in excellent condition and a creative piece of pottery by this important Acoma Pueblo potter!