Native American Pottery Designs & Styles
Native American Indian pottery reflects the richness and cultural diversity of the Southwestern pueblo peoples. The varied styles and designs of Pueblo pottery results from the different chemical compositions in the clays mined by each Pueblo, cultural beliefs and, of course, the artists’ imaginations and abilities.
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A Quick Guide to Tribal Pottery Design Distinctions
Each Pueblo’s pottery has unique characteristics, but it can be difficult to remember the right Pueblo-trademark associations. Here’s a quick guide to help you recognize pottery from the different Southwestern Pueblo traditions:
Native American Indian Pueblo or Tribe
Characteristic Pottery Styles
Common Designs and Patterns
|Off-white unfinished pottery typically painted with black and terra cotta||
||Pottery “rings” when lightly tapped|
|Buff-colored unfinished pottery typically painted black and red||
||Many modern potters are descendants of Nampeyo or Frog Woman, believed to be the first potter to create pottery as commercially-profitable art|
||Pottery has glossy sheen from traditional stone polishing|
|White pottery painted in black and terra cotta, although palette does include light blues||
||Pottery is similar to Acoma Pueblo because of geographic and cultural relationship|
||The Navajo Indian tribe is known for cultural assimilation—borrowing and making their own the practices of neighboring Pueblos. Their pottery styles reflect the influence of other pottery traditions.|
|Black (matte) on black||
||Maria and Julian Martinez developed the black-on-black technique that put Native American Indian pottery “on the map”|
|Red and black slip pottery with etched or carved designs, many with fluted or polygonal-shaped rims||
||Santa Clara Pueblo neighbors San Ildefonso Pueblo, and the similarity is evident between these two traditions|
||Paints are all naturally and nearly invisible until fired|
|Red or white slip on red painted with black and terra cotta||
||Zia Pueblo artists Marcellus and Elizabeth Medina designed the New Mexico Bowl trophy|
|White and red slips painted with black and red||
||Common motifs suggest the importance of water to Zuni Pueblo life|
White or colored slips painted with black and vibrant colors
||Mata Ortiz artists are not Native American Indians but villagers of Mata Ortiz, Mexico|
Find All Native American Indian Pottery Designs at Palms Trading Company
Palms Trading Company carries pottery by artists from the Pueblos and tribes of the Southwest. We buy each piece directly from the artist, so we guarantee is it authentic—handmade using traditional materials and techniques.
If you would like more information on any of the pottery styles and designs, please contact us. Our knowledgeable staff will be happy to share their expertise with you to help you more fully enjoy the benefits of owning Native American Indian pottery.
If one particular style or design strikes your fancy and you’d like to see more than what you find in our online selection, our personal shopper service can help you explore our entire in-store collection.