Artist Media Series
Beth Sakeva was a fascinating Hopi-Tewa potter active in the 1970s-80s. She was a niece of Lena Charlie and the sister of Kenneth Shupla (the husband of Santa Clara potter Helen Shupla). However, she was probably best known for teaching Rondina Huma to make pottery. Rondina said of Beth:
“For me, my mentor was Beth Sakeva. I started making pottery around 1970 after I graduated from high school. I was living on the mesa in Tewa, and Beth was my neighbor. I used to go and have lunch with her and talk with her. One day she was making pottery and said I should learn how to do it. She started out by giving me some clay. I learned how to coil and appreciate the thickness of the pottery. We used gourds to shape our pottery. She taught me how to sand the surface, level out the pots, and then polishing and painting. Beth initially painted my pottery, but finally, she said she couldn’t do it for me anymore. She said I needed to start painting the pottery on my own.” Rondina Huma, Spoken Through Clay
This jar is coil-built from red Hopi clay and stone polished. It is painted with bee-weed for the design. The jar has a “linear” mountain design around the rim. There are four eagle tails extending downward along the shoulder. Each section is tightly painted. The bowl is signed on the bottom, “Beth Sakeva”. It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair. It is definitely a piece of Hopi-Tewa history!