This four-color Acoma polychrome olla (water jar) features white slip with black, red, and orange painted decoration. The design of this water jar consists of two bands of decoration. The neck has a remarkable checkerboard pattern. The clean lines of the upper design are colored squares that are both red and orange. The alternating blank squares hold a split line in their centers similar to the split leaf design. The body of the water jar holds two distinct interchanging diagonal strips that contain rain, cloud, and mountain symbolism. Strip one is a hachured (crosshatched) band with crisscrossing rain lines with small checkerboard squares spaced throughout. Black triangles frame the bands and may symbolize clouds and mountains. The second strip is a connected checkerboard pattern with eyed cloud motifs.
The Pueblo of Acoma, also known as Haak’u and Sky City, is a sacred Indigenous homeland located in northwest New Mexico. The Pueblo people who call Acoma their home are a modern people with a living culture and tradition that is rooted in their land. Their art forms, such as pottery, are the traditions of their ancestors and are directly tied to their language, dance, and celebrations.
Robert Gallegos Collection, Albuquerque, NM;
Silverman Museum, Santa Fe, NM;
[The Owings Gallery, Santa Fe, NM];
Jan T. and Marica Vilcek Collection, New York, NY, 2010-2019, (2010.06.01);
Santa Fe. Morning Star Gallery. Two Hundred Years of Historic Pueblo Pottery: The Gallegos Collection. August 12-September 8, 1990, pl. 27, n.p.
Sandoval, Cassandra et al. Pueblo Treasures from the Silverman Museum. Denver: Denver Public Library, 2005, pp. 36-37, cat. no. 11, ill. p. 37.
Lanmon, Dwight P. and Francis H. Harlow. The Pottery of Acoma Pueblo. Santa Fe: Museum of New Mexico Press, 2013, p. 264, ill. p. 264, fig. 16.4.
O’Hern, John. “Modern Manor,” American Fine Art Magazine, September/October 2013, ill. p. 63.