Tafoya, Stephanie – “Summer Gourd” Jar
Stephanie Tafoya is a 29-year-old great-granddaughter of Margaret Tafoya, a granddaughter of Lee Tafoya, and the daughter of Mel Tafoya. She has learned to make pottery from her aunt, Linda Tafoya-Sanchez. Each piece is coil built, carved, stone polished, and traditionally fired. This piece is part of her series entitled, “Seasons Changing”. Each piece that is part of this series represents the summer, winter, spring, and Fall. This jar is entitled, “Summer Gourd”. The jar has a sharp shoulder and a short neck. It is indented with a traditional “gourd” design in eight sections. Below the shoulder, It is carved into the clay with raindrops. The jar was traditionally fired black. It is signed on the bottom. Her name in Tewa is “Khung Be”, which means Holly Berry. This is a hallmark she also puts on her pottery. Each piece also comes with a book telling her story and the story of this series of pottery (see the last photo).
Stephanie said of this piece:
Summer is such an exciting season as there are so many events to be enjoyed. My absolute favorite is our Santa Clara Pueblo Feast Day in August. I crave to be with my family, dancing in unison to the captivating songs and feeling my heart beat with the sound of the drums.
We use gourds to make our rattles and that is what the indented sections denote. The rattles are in sync with the drums and as we dance to these ancient songs, we pray. We pray for rain and with that, a bountiful harvest. Water is life, especially in Northern New Mexico and it is such a blessing when these prayers are answered.