This simple Navajo Indian Diné pottery jug with small handles has a beautiful shape and lovely lines, enhanced by the rich dark terra cotta color with "fire clouds," the carbon smudges that tell us it was pit fired outdoors. It is all hand coiled and sealed with melted pinon pitch, although it has lost some of that shine around the middle from decades of use and touch. From the book Navajo Pottery, Traditions, and Innovations by Harman and Musial: “Like so many items within Navajo material culture, the real importance of pottery lies not so much in its functional or utilitarian uses, but rather in its place within the overall cultural framework. According to Navajo belief, pottery making was one of the crafts given by the Holy People even before the Diné emerged into the present world. Its special significance is preserved in the oral history and in ceremonial texts and songs that make frequent references to pottery.” The railroad and trading post system brought commercial wares to the Navajo, replacing much of the utilitarian pottery. Ceremonial pottery was still needed and made, as healing ceremonies used different vessels for cleansings, to hold dry pigments for sand paintings, and other uses. Brownware from the Cow Springs area of Navajo Nation did appear for the tourist market in the 1950s. We believe this is at least as old as that era, and possibly older.
Measures about 7" tall and the base is 5" in diameter, and is a little over 6" across at the handles. There are several spots where the pinon pitch did not coat; thus, the coloring is lighter, almost like a surface scratch or chip. However, those are not scratches. There is what appears to be one small flake at the rim where again, the coloring is lighter. On the bottom there is a surface fissure in the clay, which is a production or pre-production formation. No signature, nor would there be on an old utilitarian vessel. Weighs 1.5 pounds unpacked.
Beauty, simplicity, history.
Please convo with questions, or call (505) 369-6865. Will return your call as soon as possible.
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1-3 business days
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