Polacca, Thomas – Large Seedpot with Hano Katsinas and Feather Medallions (1983)
Thomas Polacca was a son of noted potter Fannie Nampeyo and a grandson of Nampeyo of Hano. He is considered among the first men to begin making pottery at Hopi in the 1970s. Interestingly, the men initially did not use the traditional Sikyatki designs but followed other directions in their pottery. This is an interesting transitional piece of his pottery. Much of his earlier work is polished red and then incised. His later work would be carved and slipped with colorful clay. This seedpot is slipped to look like wood and then etched. There are two Hano Katsina along with several feather medallions. The Hano Katsina represents the village of Hano, where the Tewa people live who came from New Mexico. Today, the potters at Hopi are almost all of Hopi-Tewa descent. The feather medallions also seem like a connection to the feather design pottery both at Mimbres and the Rio Grande Pueblos. As Thomas’s pottery evolved, much of the work would tell a story. The seedpot is very tightly designed. It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Thomas Polacca”. The piece is from 1983. it is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration, or repair.