Home > Art > Zuni Polychrome Olla with Rain Bird Design
About the Object
This three-color Zuni polychrome olla (water jar) features white slip with black and red painted decoration. Throughout the neck and body is an expansive rain bird design. On the neck is a repeating pattern comprised of a rain bird spiral that slightly expands outward into hachured (rain lines) bands. The much larger rain bird motif present on the body is also referred to as the “eye of the storm.” The so-called storm begins with the rain bird’s spiraled beak; as it grows into large bands of hachures, the rain lines become more horizontal possibly to signify wind. Additionally, red triangles are dispersed throughout the body and may signify clouds.
The Pueblo of Zuni is an Indigenous homeland located in northwestern New Mexico. The A:shiwi (Zuni people) continue to observe their religious and cultural traditions, which are tied to their sacred homeland and the surrounding landscape. One expression of their cultural preservation is their art production of jewelry, paintings, and pottery.
Turner Collection, Albuquerque, NM;
Private Collection, Santa Fe, NM;
[The Owings Gallery, Santa Fe, NM];