Nampeyo, Elva Tewaguna – Jar with Moth Design (1970s)
Elva Tewaguna Namepyo was a daughter of Fannie Nampeyo, a granddaughter of the Nampeyo of Hano, and a sister of Iris and Tonita Nampeyo and Thomas Polacca. Her pottery was coil built, stone polished and painted with bee-weed and natural clay slips. This jar is a larger piece of her pottery. The design is a series of four moths above the shoulder of the piece. Note that there are two different styles of moth (opposite each other). I remember Mark Tahbo used similar imagery and said that they were male and female moths. Separating the moths are two different design panels. The sections with the three-pointed structures represent the three Hopi mesas. The other sections are cloud patterns. The area below the shoulder is painted with cloud, rain, and corn designs. The interior neck is fully polished. The jar was traditionally fired to create the blushes on the surface. It is signed on the bottom before fired, “Elva Nampeyo”. It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair. Her daughter Adelle Nampeyo continues in the same family tradition.