The Acoma Pueblo, located just west of Albuquerque, New Mexico, is home to a rich tradition of arts and culture. While there are many incredible artists of varying modalities both historical and contemporary who are Acoma, the community is particularly famous for their unique and beautiful pottery styles. The deep connection to the natural environment of the Acoma People is reflected in the creation of traditional Acoma pottery and acts as a source of inspiration for many other art forms, most recently printmaking and fashion design.
The pottery of the Acoma peoples is widely recognized and praised around the world for its intricate and beautiful linework and patterns. The thin walls of the traditional olla, or large clay jar used for food and water storage, are also a unique feature that set the pottery apart from many of the surrounding Pueblos. The labor which goes into creating these pieces is intensive, and very much demonstrated in the fine geometric patterns and animal-based designs which are distinct characteristics of the pottery.
Connection to Nature
Like most types of art originating from the Acoma tradition, the art of pottery making involves a deep connection with the natural elements and the environment of the southwestern United States. The clay used in Acoma pottery is collected from the hills surrounding the Pueblo and is slate-like in nature. Pigments are also made of surrounding natural ingredients and include plants such as beeweed and tansy mustard as well as minerals like hematite, iron oxide, and manganese. These natural materials are ground into a powder or paste form, mixed with water, and painted onto the pottery using yucca fiber brushes. The creation of the pottery, as well as the unique design elements which are painted on, are representative of the deep connection to the land and the ancestral home which inspires much of the Indigenous art in the area.
Elements of Design in Fashion
The advancement of modern technologies along with the continued commitment of the Acoma Peoples to share their arts and culture with the world has led to a variety of unique intersections between different Acoma artistic traditions. Most notably, the geometric patterns and unique designs that are traditionally seen in Acoma pottery have inspired many different printmakers and fashion designers. The beauty of the Acoma pottery tradition has now transcended into wearable art, even worn by public figures like Michelle Obama, and these unique prints and clothing pieces pay homage to the beautiful geometric patterns seen on traditional Acoma pottery.
Shop Acoma Pottery & More
If you’re interested in purchasing one of the exquisite pieces which are the origin of the recent trend in Indigenous patterns and prints, get in touch with Palms Trading Company. We have an incredible selection of Acoma pottery pieces, and our free personal shopper service will help you find the perfect addition to your home. Contact us for authentic and hand-made Native American pottery and jewelry today.