This unusual polychrome pot has a little bird sitting on the rim. It has the traditional sky and earth bands at the top and bottom and there is a ceremonial break at each. This pot is signed on the bottom and is believed to be one made during the pottery revival classes taught by Eudora (Dora) Montoya at Santa Ana, and since Santa Ana Pueblo had little to no pottery during the 1900s, this a very special effigy pot.
Santa Ana pottery is among the most difficult to find of all types of Pueblo pottery, and there are only a handful of active potters working today, among them Rachel Medina, who was taught by Dora Montoya. Santa Ana did not have a strong pottery tradition and often traded crops and other goods for nearby Zia pottery and wares. Pottery production had mostly died out by the 1920s and was not revived until the 1970s under the leadership of Eudora Montoya, the only remaining traditional potter at that time.
The pottery created a Santa Ana was generally a sturdy vessel with red clay collected from the banks of the Jemez River. Traditionally, the base and interior were painted red, and the body was painted with a buff slip with red or black designs painted onto the body in bold geometric shapes. With so few Santa Ana artists creating pottery using natural clay and traditional methods, any piece is a rare and valuable work of art.
Condition: Fine – original condition
Provenance: Acquired from a private collection in Texas.
Adapted from Shumakolowa Pottery Guide