White, Elizabeth – Large Red Jar with Bean Dance Figures (1970’s)

10.5"w x 16.75"h

$ 5,500.00

Elizabeth White created distinctive pottery using the various colors of Hopi clay. She originated the use of the ear of corn as a design in repousse (pushed out from the inside) on her pottery. Her pottery is all signed in the clay with her Hopi name Polingaysi, which means, “butterfly sitting among the flowers in the breeze”.  This jar is one of her classic narrow jars with two ears of corn.  The coloration of the clay is the traditional red clay (well, reddish-orange), which is used in Hopi pottery.  The coloration is striking on this larger jar.   The entire piece is stone polished in a vertical manner and the figures are matte.  There are two figures, which are taken from an Awatovi mural design.  They are part of the winter “Bean Ceremony” when they grow bean sprouts in the kivas. The figures are pushed out from the inside of the jar, not applique on top of the surface.  The jar is in good condition and a few rough area in the matte.  Interestingly, Polingaysi was a school teacher and taught at Hopi and  Navajo schools for almost 40 years.  On retirement from teaching, she became an artist, a poet, and a philosopher.  Her career as a potter was begun late in life, after her retirement, so there is very little of her work available.  This is certainly one of the largest pieces we have had of her work in the gallery.  The last photo is one of Elizabeth White working on this piece! Definitely check out the work of her nephew, Al Qoyawayma for comparison and the evolution of this style!

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