Manygoats, Elizabeth – Tree Jar with Navajo Girl, Dog, and Sheep
Elizabeth Manygoats is a daughter of noted potter Betty Manygoats. She is known for her folk-art style pottery with figures in relief or applique on the surface. Elizabeth 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 one of her most famous shapes, as the opening is at the top of the tree and the rest of the jar is hollow! The treetop is textured to simulate the bark. The top of the shoulder is flat and there is a dog, sheep, and a Navajo girl holding a Navajo basket. The detail and creativity of such a complex clay piece are quite charming. 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, “Elizabeth M.” Elizabeth has won numerous awards for her pottery over the years. It can also be found in museums throughout the southwest.