Sahmie Nampeyo, Rachel – Clay Parrot Jar (1990s)

8.5" long x 6"w x 4.5"h

$ 825.00

Rachel Sahmie was a daughter of noted potter Priscilla Nampeyo and a descendant of Nampeyo of Hano.  She was a sister of noted potters Jean Sahmie, and Bonnie Sahmie.  This is a striking jar in the shape of a parrot.  Pieces like these were inspired by the effigy jars found at Chaco Canyon and other locations.  The jar is made from native clay and Rachel always succeeded at making exceptional figurative pottery.  The piece is painted with bee-weed and clay slips. Along the sides are swirling clouds for the wings.  The jar was traditionally fired to create the strong blushes on the surface.  Is signed “Koo Loo”, which means, “corn”.  It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration, or repair.

Thanks to a client for the below information:

Rachel’s effigy parrots (actually they are macaws) are very popular and not easily acquired; it was happenstance that Dan found this one in the gift shop when he visited Scottsdale’s Western Spirit Museum in September 2021. Rachel fashions these parrot pots very closely after a prehistoric Sikyatki pot unearthed at one of the ancestral Hopi villages at Homolovi, which is a site in the drainage of the Little Colorado River, just a few miles north of Winslow, AZ, and about 50 miles south of the Hopi mesas where today’s villages are located. The Homolovi villages were occupied primarily from the late 1200s to late 1300s, the original occupants being migrants from the Hopi mesas to the north. Some of the Homolovi villages were large, with over 1000 rooms each. Because of the proximity of the Little Colorado, the area was important for farming, especially cotton. But it also was in a strategic trade location and archaeological evidence indicates trade with other Ancestral Puebloan groups as well as Mogollon, Hohokam, and Sinagua. Exchange between Homolovi and the Hopi mesa villages certainly continued, with ample evidence of Sikyatki pottery such as the parrot.  The original parrot, now 600-700 years old, is housed at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History (catalog number 72564) and photographs have been published in the archaeological literature.”