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Title: Corn

Source(s): The Zuni Indians and Their Uses of Plants

Author(s): Matilda Coxe Stevenson (Author)

Anthropologist Matilda Stevenson describes the many ways in which Zuni people use corn.

Though not indigenous to the United States, corn was the staple food of the inhabitants of the Southwest long before the coming of the Spaniards in the middle of the sixteenth century, having been brought to this section either by peoples migrating f...

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Title: Acoma

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

An introduction to the history and culture of the people of Acoma.

Tribal elders say that Acoma (sometimes spelled Akome, Acuo, Acuco, Ako and A’ku-me) means “a place that always was.” Archaeologists have found artifacts at digs on Acoma Mesa that speak of prehistoric times. Like its near neighbors Hopi and Zu...

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Title: The Origins of Pottery

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

When people started to make pottery and how it changed their societies.

Small bands of indigenous peoples roamed the American Southwest between 10,000 BCE and 1000 CE. They moved around following game and gathering whatever plants were in season. They may have carried their belongings and foodstuffs in baskets. Peopl...

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Title: Acoma Pottery

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

Acoma pottery in the past and today.

From earliest times, Pueblo Indian potters have made ceramic pots for practical daily use. Pueblo people carried, cooked, and stored water and food in pottery. They also used it for ceremonial purposes. The exceptional quality of Acoma pottery made i...

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Title: Acoma Pottery Design Motifs

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

The development of bread bowls and an explanation of common design motifs.

Bread Bowls When the Spaniards introduced wheat and various fruits and vegetables to the Southwest, the Acomas and Lagunas began to need new sizes and shapes of vessels for food preparation and storage. One of these was the large dough bowl, up to 1...

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Title: The Field Chief

Source(s): Flaming Arrow’s People by an Acoma Indian

Author(s): James Paytiamo (Author)

James Paytiamo explains how his grandfather came to be field chief for life.

The water supply of a village is its most important concern, and Acoma, being many hundred feet in the air, is greatly dependent upon the water-holes on top of the mesa. There are three large reservoirs and several smaller ones. No one may wash in th...

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Title: Nampeyo

Source(s): The Legacy of a Master Potter, Nampeyo and Her Descendants

Author(s): Ruth Bunzel (Author); Mary Ellen (Editor); Lawrence Blair (Editor)

It is impossible to state what a potter receives. The method of marketing operates very unfavorably to the potter. The villages are very remote from the market; consequently the whole output is disposed of to Tom Pavatea, the local trader, in return ...

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Title: First Mesa Pottery

Source(s): Hopi Voices: Recollections, Traditions, and Narratives of the Hopi Indians

Author(s): Dewey Healing (Author); Harold Courlander (Editor)

Some Hopis say they taught us Tewas in Tewa Village how to make pottery. That’s all wrong, of course. Tewas were making pottery back in Tsewageh before they came here. At one time the people on First Mesa had just about stopped making pottery altog...

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Title: Coyote Fights a Lump of Pitch

Source(s): American Indian Myths and Legends

Author(s): Traditional; Richard Erdoes (Editor); Alfonso Ortiz (Editor)

Coyote tries to fight a lump of pitch and gets captured by a white man.

Even long ago, when our tribe and animals and birds lived together near white people, Coyote was always in trouble. He would visit among the camps, staying in one for a while and then moving on, and when he stayed at Bear’s camp, he used to go over...

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Title: Oraibi Before the Split

Source(s): Hopi Voices: Recollections, Traditions, and Narratives of the Hopi Indians

Author(s): Homer Cooyama, Kikeuchmovi, July 1970 (Author); Harold Courlander (Editor)

A Hopi elder tells how the conflict between the Hostiles and the Friendlies within Oraibi society destroyed their ancient religion.

Before the split, Old Oraibi was a very complicated society. We were involved with different organizations, with fraternities, with groups (comparable to) the Masons, many things we don’t know too much about today. There were fourteen kivas in Old ...

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