This three-color Acoma polychrome jar features white slip with black and orange painted decoration. The all-over design of this large jar consists of interlocking black-and-white geometric-like bands that encircle the orange parrot motif. Above the Pueblo bird are spiral symbols commonly called “capped spirals,” which were found in Acomita jars created before the mid 19th century. Within the stepped triangular bands are vertical rain lines, or hachured triangles, that are surrounded by solid black cloud symbolism at the rim of the jar. Below are split leaf patterns that tie into the overarching water jar theme of the vessel’s form.
The distinct features of this jar are likely “prehistoric” inspired. In addition to the striking rain symbolism, the brightly colored parrot follows a simplistic two-dimensional appearance that has been utilized within pottery for centuries. The parrot is also illustrated eating berries, which is a typical scene that is partnered with rain, cloud, and water symbolism like it is found on this jar.
Private Collection, New Mexico;
[Morning Star Gallery, Santa Fe, NM];
Jan T. and Marica Vilcek Collection, New York, NY, 2005-2019, (2005.10.01);