Ancient Voices

A Museum to honor the least known people in North America, the Original Tribal Women

"We who are clay blended by the Master Potter, come from the kiln of Creation in many hues.
How can people say one skin is colored, when each has its own coloration?
What should it matter that one bowl is dark and the other pale, if each is of good design and serves its purpose well."

- Polingaysi Qoyawayma, (1892 - 1990) Hopi

There are many woman pottery artists who are well known for the pieces they create. They usually follow in their mother's and grandmother's footsteps and teach their daughter's the craft of pottery making. The existing twenty Pueblos in New Mexico and Arizona and the Navajo in Arizona, have their own resident families who have their own unique designs that are recognised by those who know about pottery.

Clay vessels have been made for storage and household use in these stationary societies for at least two thousand years. Each pueblo has developed a style of form and decoration indigenous to its needs and beliefs.

Beginning in the 1920s, the best women potters were encouraged to sign their work, and soon they were the subject of much public acclaim from the outside world. At the same time, serious collectors of Indian art began to emerge, buying the best work.

All of these selling possibilities brought some spectacular Indian women artists to national attention, as did the endorsement of art and history museums. Dr. Edgar Lee Hewett of the Museum of New Mexico and his colleagues at the Heye Foundation in New York and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., sought out the best Pueblo women potters, purchased and exhibited their work, and hired the artists to demonstrate. A number of extraordinary women artists flourished in this atmosphere of encouragement.*

In this section I will be putting a page for each Pueblo showing the craftwork of a few potters from that Pueblo, and giving some history of the individual and their family. The Navajo are included in the 'Other Families' section.

There are seven parts to this section, please click on one of the links below to go to each section


Transport home link
Thanks ©Sparrow for this wonderful feather

Please click on any of the links below to journey around the museum. If you need to get back to the main page at any time just click on Sparrow's feather on any page and you will be transported home.

Exceptional Women Pages

Rest of the site

Ancient Tracks part of the Business


Museum Research & Curator Gloria Hazell
Site created by Dragonfly Dezignz
©August, 2006

*Interesting article part used here ©