The art of pottery creation has a deep and historical connection to Acoma culture. Located around 60 miles west of Albuquerque New Mexico are the four communities which make up Acoma Pueblo: Sky City (Old Acoma), Acomita, Anzac, and McCartys. Tribal records suggest that these communities have been situated in this area for over 2,000 years, and their long and rich history and culture can be seen through many different artistic representations, particularly through the Acoma’s pottery creation.
History of Acoma Pottery
Perhaps the most well-known aspect of the Acoma pueblo is their beautiful and unique style of pottery and the techniques used to make it. Acoma People have been honing and developing their unique style of pottery techniques since the establishment of Acoma Pueblo in the 11th century. The pottery is created by using dense local clay, dried and strengthened by adding pulverized pottery shards, also known as temper. Acoma pottery is notable for its unique crafting techniques which include thin walls, fluted rims, and many different hand-painted designs most often painted with traditional yucca leaf brushes.
Design Elements of Acoma Pottery
Some of the common designs showcased in Acoma pottery include hand-painted animals and intricate fine line work which forms geometric patterns. The colors used in the design are normally black, white, and other basic warm and neutral tones. To test for cracks, potters will gently tap the piece with a knuckle or fingertip, listening for a ringing sound. If the pot doesn’t ring, it indicates the piece is cracked.
Symbolism and Connection to Culture
As mentioned above, many of the traditional pottery style designs among Acoma pottery showcase fine line work to create different geometric patterns and images such as thunderbirds and rainbows. These long fine lines drawn together are symbolic of rain falling from the sky and can often also allude to moving water. The parrot or rain bird is also a common design in Acoma pottery.
Acoma pottery pieces are exquisite, unique, and would be a beautiful addition to any collection. If you’re looking to find your very own piece of Acoma pottery, at Palms Trading Company we would love to help turn your pottery dreams into a reality. We carry authentic one-of-a-kind pieces and can even connect you with one of our personal shoppers to make sure you find exactly what you’re looking for. Contact us today and see all of the amazing Acoma pottery pieces we have to offer!