Manygoats, Elizabeth – Large Water Jar with Navajo Daily Life Scene
This is one of the largest pieces we have had from Elizabeth Manygoats. She is a daughter of noted potter Betty Manygoats. Elizabeth is known for her folk-art style pottery with figures in relief or applique on the surface. She says that she often emphasizes Navajo women and their daily lives in her work because “They’re the ones I look up to.” This jar is a large water jar that is coil built and very thin-walled. It has a flat shoulder and an extended neck. On the shoulder of the jar is a girl reading a book, a dog, and two sheep. The neck of the jar has a hogan, tree, chicken, and mesas in relief. Below the shoulder are horses, a dog, a goat, and a cow in relief. The base of the jar is just the natural coloration fo the clay and the firing. The inside of the neck has additional design from the pine pitch, as she has not only covered it but also dripped it down so that there are lines of rain inside the water jar! I like that everywhere you look there is something textural or subtle to catch your eye and make one think about life in Navajo country. The various colors are added to highlight the imagery. The jar is traditionally fired to create the variations in color to the clay surface. After the firing, the entire piece is covered in pine pitch in the manner of traditional Navajo pottery. The piece is signed on the bottom in the clay, “EM.” Elizabeth has won numerous awards for her pottery over the years. It can also be found in museums throughout the southwest.