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Lucy Leuppe McKelvey Whirling Mountainway Rainbow Goddess


Item Number: DR 2250
Tribal Affiliation: Navajo
Artist: Lucy Leuppe McKelvey
Medium: Clay with natural minerals and vegetal paints
Age: 2021
Dimensions:  8 ½” by 13”


SKU: DR 2250 Categories: , ,


Award winning potter, Lucy McKelvey is well known for her very intricate sand painting inspired designs. This large intricately painted pot epitomizes her beautiful pottery.

Lucy first learned to make pottery around 1973 as a college student, working with ceramic clay and firing her pieces in an electric kiln. As she learned more about the history of both Navajo and Hopi-Tewa pottery, she began to use only traditional methods-utilizing only native clays and pigments and firing her pieces in outdoor oak fired kilns. Today, her complex designs, influenced by Navajo sand paintings, are executed in natural pigments made from hematite, bee plant and various clays.

Whirling Mountainway Rainbow Goddess is a flat pot made of highly marbleized clay formed in the shape of a rippled female squash blossom.  The two-toned clay is made by mixing two clays of different colors together before the clay is coiled out. According to Lucy, it is quite “tricky to figure out how to stone polish it without smearing the colors together.”

The images depict a Mountainway female goddess with a headdress and buffalo horns. From her hands springs a prayer stick of turkey feathers that is used in rain ceremonies. From her elbow hangs a rain streamer of a rainbow and clouds which attaches to a ceremonial travel basket. There is a weasel skin cape on her shoulder in the shape of clouds that surround the rainbow arches forming the body of the goddesses.

The goddess has a kilt and a sash from which hangs a medicine pouch. The spirit line goes between the feet and the headdress, the rainbow below the feet and even above on the inside the design within the rim.  The is an escape for the artist’s spirit to keep it from being entrapped within the design.

Condition: Excellent – original – new.
Provenance: Acquired directly from the artist.