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Traditional Seed Pot


Item Number: DR 238
Pueblo: Isleta Pueblo
Artist: Bert
Medium: Clay and pigment
Age: Circa 1980s
Dimensions: 2 1/2″ X 2 1/2″


SKU: DR 238 Categories: , ,


This is a lovely small seed pot in the traditional red-on-buff style of old Isleta. What appears to be flower petals drape over the side with a roughed lower edge – which looks much like a seed pod.  This pot is very thin and finely constructed in the traditional manner – hand coiled and outdoor fired.

There is very little published information on Isleta Pueblo pottery. Before 1900, it was strictly utilitarian ware and generally was thick walled and undecorated. The Isleta Pueblo pottery most often seen today is a style that developed after the arrival of a group of Laguna Pueblo families who left their native Laguna Pueblo and moved to Isleta Pueblo in 1879 and settled in a village they named Oraibi. (The Pueblo today is comprised of two small communities– Oraibi and Chicale and the main Pueblo, Isleta.)  They brought the traditional Laguna Pueblo Polychrome pottery style with them, and it eventually replaced the Isleta traditional plain red-on-tan pottery ware that had existed for centuries.

Prior to the arrival of the Laguna colony, the Isleta potters used sand as a tempering agent, resulting in pottery that was thick walled and not of the finest quality. The Laguna potters introduced the Isleta potters to potsherds as a tempering agent, thus resulting in thinner walled, stronger and higher quality wares. This improved pottery continued until around 1950, at which time it practically ceased. By this time, train travel throughout the United States hit an all-time low. There were very few tourists traveling through Albuquerque on the train so there was no central location for the potters to sell their wares.

With renewed interest in pueblo pottery, potters are once again creating high quality traditional red-on-tan ware, as well as a number of monochrome and polychrome pottery. The storytellers from Stella and Mona Teller are very collectable. There are several potters and their families who are creating fine products in the traditional style.

Condition: Excellent – original condition.
Provenance: Purchased from the artist in Santa Fe by a private collector from Texas.

Additional information

Weight 5 oz