Native American Ceramics

Native Americans produced pottery out of necessity to produce storage vessels for crops. But, ceramic figurines, masks, and other ceremonial items were also made too. Each Native American tribe has their own style of pottery, distinguished by unique firing, finishing and decoration and adornment techniques. All Native American pottery shares one element in common in that it was not thrown on a wheel but formed by hand using coil, sculpted, molded or pinch pot techniques.

The most famous style of Native American pottery is that of the tribes of the Southwestern United States such as the Pueblos. Brightcolors and distinctive motifs help distinguish this pottery from that of other tribes. The Southwestern tribes have also maintained the tradition, keeping this art-form alive in the tribe today.

Native Languages: Offers a brief history of Native American pottery with photos and information about present day authentic Native American ceramics artists.

Hollister Collection of Southwestern Native American Pottery: 94 piece collection of authentic Southwestern Native American pots dating from 1875-1966 collected by the University of Massachusetts Art History Department.

Native Tech: Historical information, detailed descriptions of how Native Americans fired pottery including a photographic essay, and a photo glossary of Native American pottery making tools.

Women Artists of The American West: Study of Pottery by American Indian Women and how community, spirituality, locality and identity play into the designs and decoration. Historical information for each major tribe and discussion of avant-garde designs and artists.

National Museum of the American Indian: National museum honoring the Native American people and featuring over 825,000 artifacts documenting their unique culture, including their pottery.

Pottery was and still is an extremely important art of the Native American people and is significant to their culture. Thankfully this tradition has been passed down within tribes from one generation to the next to allow this beautiful pastime to be carried on.

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Native American Indians




American Indian Art




Southwestern Resources




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American Indians