Naha, Sylvia – Large Seedpot with Corn, Lizard and Awatovi Star Design (1980s)
Sylvia Naha created pieces with the white clay polished surface painted with bee-weed (black) and native clay slips. Throughout the 1980s, Sylvia was considered among the most innovative of the Hopi potters. Her pieces were classic in form and amazingly intricate in design. This large seedpot has two of her classic designs on the top: A lizard and a corn plant. The lizard is painted with a series of triangular geometrics. Opposite the lizard is a corn plant. Corn has a strong symbolism for prosperity and abundance. The bottom half is fully painted with the black-on-white Awatovi Star. Awatovi is one of the ruins near Hopi where a white slipped style of pottery was made. It is a fascinating place as it was where Coronado made contact with the Hopi in 1540. During the excavations in the 1930s, the whiteware pottery was rediscovered. It was the imagery from his work that inspired much of Helen Naha’s (Sylvia’s mother) early pottery, as opposed to the more classic Sikyatki inspired pottery of Nampeyo of Hano. The bottom of the piece is signed with a feather and an “S”. The piece is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration, or repair.