Since ollas were originally meant to hold water, they have an indent in the bottom, so it will sit firmly upon a woman’s head for carrying. The designs on this beautiful polychrome olla are typical of the Zuni pottery dating from the 1860s onward.
The neck of the olla is banded around the top and inside and is divided by two heart lines representing the heart of the vessel, as well as the heart of the potter. The designs around the rim are repeated four times and include thunder knives and eyes peering through the clouds.
The mid-body of the olla began to be divided into alternating wide and narrow panels during the mid- 1800s, becoming very common by 1870. This olla has two narrow panels separating two wide panels. The designs are capped spirals with hachured and cross-hatched lines along with prayer feather motifs for rain. Rain images are prevalent on Zuni pottery, indicating the ever present need for water.
There is another heart line separating the mid-body from the lower third. Each of the heart lines has the spirit break line.
Bobby Silas and Tim Edaakie created pottery honoring the designs of their forefathers. They researched and faithfully represented the old symbols on their traditional pottery. Each piece of their pottery is created in the time honored traditional manner – clay is gathered, the piece is formed and painted with vegetal paints and then is fired in a traditional dung fire. This olla is a beautiful piece of pottery honoring the typical historic Zuni pottery of the mid-1800s.
Condition: Excellent – original new condition
Provenance: Purchased directly from the artists at Santa Fe Indian Market