Qoyawayma, Al – Tall Jar with Two Corn Design (1976)
This jar by Al Qoyawayma is from 1976, making it an early piece of his pottery. It is an elegant taller shape that was initially created by his aunt, Elizabeth White. She would call it a “wish vase” shape. The jar is polished red and the corn are matte tan in coloration. There are two ears that are in “reppousse” or pushed out from the inside, NOT applique. This is very much in the style of his aunt, Elizabeth White. Each of the ears of corn is textured to represent the kernels. The contrast of the matte and polished surfaces works to enhance the design and form. It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration, or repair. It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Al Qoyawyama”. The second to the last photo is one of Al Qoyawayma and the last is one of this jar next to a piece by Elizabeth White.
“The earliest corn motif is found on pottery in Ecuador dating to 1900 BC. The technique was to push out from the inside of the pottery the basic form of the corn ear shape and then sculpt the kernel decoration or relief. Al and Elizabeth White (his aunt) saw an exhibit of “Ancient Ecuador, CUlture, clay, and creativity” at the Field Museum in Chicago in 1975. They realized that they were creating a similar technique at Hopi. Elizabeth began using this motif in the early 1960s. The corn motif is used in sacred respect of the corn in sustaining Native Americans over at least the last several thousand years.” Al Qoywayama, Hopi Potter, 1984