Manygoats, Elizabeth – Water Jar with Navajo Scene, Dog, Chickens and Monument Valley
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 very thin-walled and has a flat shoulder and straight neck. There is a lot going on around the jar and it is both clever and charming. There is a Navajo girl holding a Navajo wedding basket. Around her on the “ledge” of the jar in “3D” two sheep and one black dog. In the background in relief is Monument Valley, along with another sheep, a flying bird, two chickens, clouds, and the sun. Interestingly, she has painted the sky blue instead of leaving it the natural color of the clay. The various colors are added to highlight the imagery. The jar is traditionally fired to create 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 20” Elizabeth has won numerous awards for her pottery over the years. It can also be found in museums throughout the southwest.