Unknown artist, North American Indian; Pueblo culture; Southwest culture area; Zuñi, New Mexico
Jar, ca. 1825
Earthenware with slip decoration and Kiapkwa polychromy
22.9 cm (9 inches) (height)
Gift of Mrs. Thomas Hunt 43.407
Meant to hold water, this ceramic jar has a molded slab base and smoothened coil walls. The vessel’s base is concave to assist in carrying it on the head, and a slight puki bulge, or flexure, is evident where the wall joins the slab base. The jar is an example of Kiapkwa polychrome (named for the Zuni farming village of Kiapkwainakwin), the dominant Zuni Pueblo type from 1760 to 1850. The design layout suggests influence of the earlier San Pablo polychrome style created at Zia Pueblo during the mid-eighteenth century. The prominent design motifs are associated with rain or water and represent emergent elements of the better-known Zuni Rainbird water-jar style, which appeared in full-blown form by the 1870s.