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Lucy Lewis Traditional Polychrome Bowl


Item Number: DR 2190
Pueblo: Acoma Pueblo
Artist: Lucy Martin Lewis
Medium: clay, pigment
Age: Circa late 1970s
Dimensions: 5 ½” x 6 ½”


SKU: DR 2190 Categories: , , ,


This traditional polychrome pottery bowl features designs related to water, particularly to rain.  Water and rain are paramount living atop Acoma Pueblo. The only way to have water on top of the mesa is through carrying it up the steep steps or through rain fall.

The orange triangles outlined in dark brown pigment connect with dark rainclouds and long lines of falling rain.  The dark brown designs encircling the middle of the bowl relate to additional rain clouds while the closely painted vertical parallel lines represent falling rain.

Lucy Lewis was one of the most widely respected potters from her pueblo. She was one of the last Acoma matriarchs to live full-time at the Pueblo. She followed pueblo tradition in every step of pottery production—offering prayers of thanks to Mother Earth for the clay, taking only as much clay as she needed, working the clay with only her hands, forming the vessel from coils of clay, scraping the walls with tools fashioned from gourds, painting the vessel with slips and paints made from clay and vegetal sources and, finally, firing the finished pieces in an outdoor handmade kiln.

She spent nearly all her life atop the high mesa of Acoma Pueblo, making pottery since the age of seven.  She was famous for her exquisite polychrome designs and her black and white fine-line and lightning designs. Her pottery is highly sought after by collectors world-wide.

Condition: Very Good- original condition – minor spalling occurring during firing
Provenance: from the collection of a Santa Fe resident
Recommended Reading: LUCY M. LEWIS American Indian Potter by Susan Peterson