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Southwest Pueblo Pottery Manufacture - North America

Southwest Pueblo Pottery Manufacture - North America
E054139 Ceramic Pot - Front, Hopi Pueblos, Arizona, USA, North America 
Australian Museum 
photographer: AM, Photography Dept - Photographer Unknown
 
The tradition of pottery manufacture among the Pueblo Indians of the south-western United States dates back at least 1500 years, to the pre-historic culture period known as Anasazi, from about the sixth to the 14th centuries A.D. Anasazi pottery includes the famous black-on-white ware of the 'Classic' Pueblo period (11th-12th centuries A.D.); and the later polychrome ware which was an inspiration to some present day Pueblo potters after its discovery during excavations in the 1890s. In about 1400 A.D. there appears to have been a dispersal of population from large settlements such as 'Pueblo Bonito' and 'Mesa Verde' southward; a number of smaller settlements became established in the regions of the Little Colorado River, Arizona, and the Rio Grande River, New Mexico.

At the time of Spanish contact in 1540, Peublo pottery was sylistically uniform and mostly undecorated. However since about 1700, each pueblo (walled town of mud and stone) has developed its own distinctive style of decorated ware. Today there are at least 18 pueblos producing high quality decorated ware, as well as undecorated ware for household use and inferior examples produced for tourist sale.

Pueblo pottery manufacture is almost exclusively a woman's skill, the clay being dug and prepared locally, and the pots being built up using a combination of slab and coil techniques. After the basic form is made and carefully dried, the surface of the pot is scraped and rubbed smooth, and frequently a 'slip' of thin coloured clay is painted on, to provide a basis for the further painted designs. Paints are made from local ochres and dyes, and applied with a brush made from the stem of the yucca plant. The finished pot is fired for 4-8 hours in a makeshift 'oven' built up over an open fire, using stones, metal sheets and potsherds to protect the stacked pots from being in direct contact with the flames. Standard shapes are large water carrying and storage jars and food serving bowls or dishes, although many variant forms are produced for sale.
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E054137 - 25/4/1951, pot, Hopi Pueblos, Colorado Plateau, Arizona, United States of America, America, North

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E054138 - 25/4/1951, bowl, Hopi Pueblos, Colorado Plateau, Arizona, United States of America, America, North

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E054139 - 25/4/1951, pot, Hopi Pueblos, Colorado Plateau, Arizona, United States of America, America, North

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E054140 - 25/4/1951, pot, San Ildefonso Pueblo, Rio Grande River, New Mexico, United States of America, America, North

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