Overall: 30 x 40.5 cm (11 13/16 x 15 15/16 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1984.159
Ancestral Pueblo ceramics feature striking black-and-white geometric motifs, here interconnected spirals interrupted by jagged lines. Meaning is unknown, but the complex pattern is reminiscent of water that eddies as it runs over rocks. With recent exceptions, pottery is a women’s art among modern Pueblo peoples who descend from the Ancestral Pueblo; the same was likely true in the ancient past. As today, the potter created her wares by coiling ropes of clay atop one another, smoothing and further shaping them, and then applying decoration with brushes made of maguey (agave) or yucca leaf chewed until the fibers formed bristles.
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