Summary

This Hopi pot from around 1860 is painted in a style known as Polacca Polychrome. While the shape and probably the clay body are Hopi, the imagery is an interpretation of the Zuni style. The Zuni are a different Pueblo or tribe with an interesting and long relationship with their neighbors, the Hopi. In the early to mid-19th century, drought cycles drove people to live with the Hopi for periods of time and there is also some sharing of ceremonies. This pot came to the museum as part of an exchange with the Smithsonian Institute in Washington in 1929. The US anthropologist and Pueblo specialist Dr Bruce Bernstein identified it as a "fantastic pot". He noted that the name "Powell" written on the side of the pot was likely John Wesley Powell, a seminal figure in American anthropology and in the founding the Smithsonian's American Bureau of Ethnology. The original catalogue number from its time in the Smithsonian suggests it was collected during Powell's 1867 expedition.

Physical Description

A pottery vessel with red, black and white decoration, with several chips in the rim. Inscription written in ink: "22650 ... Arizona. Powell."

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