Tafoya, Linda & Mel Tafoya – Bowl with Bear Paws (1980s)
This is a collaborative bowl by Linda Tafoya and her brother, Melvin Tafoya. They are both children of Lee & Betty Tafoya and grandchildren of Margaret Tafoya. Mel made the bowl and Linda carved the bear paws and polished the surface. The bear paw is symbolic of a story where a bear led the Pueblo people to water during a drought. Of equal interest, each potter devises their own style of bear paw as a “signature” of sorts. The bear paw is carved into the clay before the piece is polished. This bowl is highly polished, as expected from Linda. The bowl is fired a deep black. It is signed on the bottom, “Mel Tafoya, Linda Tafoya-Oyenque, Brother and Sister”. It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration, or repair.