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Antique Indian Art Steve Elmore Santa Fe New Mexico Zuni Pottery
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Zuni Polychrome Olla With Heartline Deer,  c. 1880

Zuni Polychrome Olla With Heartline Deer, c. 1880

13.5 inches diameter

by Unknown

Far from the railroad and the tourist market that it created, Zuni pottery was slow to change. On this old olla, we see eight deer with ceremonial breath lines into their hearts and bold prehistoric decorations on the rim. The white slip is stone polished and heavily crackled. Because the jars were not expected to last more than a few years, the potters did not overemphasize symmetry in the molding but rather wall strength, bright decoration, and utility. The thick porous walls of the jar breathe to keep the water fresh and cool. Each jar is created as a prayer for that sweet water and as a beautiful shrine, a spring, to hold the water until it can nourish life.

p1840

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