Pueblo Pottery

The Pueblo Indians are Native Americans living in small apartment like villages made of adobe or stone. Pueblo Indians are named after the type of home they live in and they are broken up into several smaller tribes that stretch out over Arizona and New Mexico. Some of the more recognizable tribes are the Acoma, Zuni, Laguna and Hopi. They make up the western villages of the Native American Pueblos and like other tribes have handed down the secret to making beautiful hand crafted Pueblo pottery over generations.

Pottery made by Pueblos differs from other types of pottery because it isn't thrown on a pottery wheel. Instead it's made with coiled clay and shaped by hand. Coiled clay is a long rectangle shape piece of the clay. They are attached, by hand, at the ends and piled on top of each other to form the shape. Once it's shaped and hardened, they paint it with slip. Slip is a thick paint-like material made from clay and water. After the pottery is painted with slip, it may be sanded or polished before it's painted with more traditional designs.

The pottery also varies amongst the various "smaller" tribes. Acoma pottery is known for having white clay and thin walls, Zuni pottery is painted in a brownish black and red over a white background, and Hopi pottery is typically designed by painting with dark paint on beige or tan clay. There are numerous smaller tribes throughout the Pueblo and they all have different styles. While the colors vary by tribe, the designs painted on Pueblo pottery, also depends on the tribe designing it. Some tribes use rainbows, parrots, and geometric shapes, while others may use eagles, water, rain, or lightening. With different detail coming from each tribe, it's easier to obtain the origin of a piece that was created.

There are over 30 different tribes that make Pueblo pottery, some more prominent than others. Regardless of the tribe that has created it, consumers can be sure they are purchasing a great piece of artwork, full of Native American history.

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