The traditional Acoma canteens were made for the men to fill with water and to take with them as they went to the fields or traveled. Of course, collectors sought after them as well, so potters began making them to sell. This particular canteen is well made from a red clay base and is covered with a coarse, white slip made of ground pottery shards that has been rag-wiped onto the canteen. A bold design has been executed on the front in a black and red vegetal paint. Double framing lines divide the central decorated area from the remaining design. A red-orange circle with geometric outer designs is on the back. There are numerous scuff marks and on the body and places where the white slip has worn away.
The opening at the top is complete and would have been stuffed with grasses to keep the water inside.
Condition: Good – original condition with some scuff marks where the paint has worn away. There are some places with missing slip along the handles and a tiny hole on the lower section on the back of the canteen. After consulting a network of Native American experts, the consensus is that is possibly a blow out caused during firing from using partially dried manure. Typically, potters use fully dried manure, which results in a cleaner finish and a more polished pot.
Provenance: Purchased from a friend at Zuni Pueblo.