Noreen Simplicio of Zuni Pueblo has created her interpretation of the Zuni owl. Owls can see what others cannot, and this is a large part of Owl Medicine.
The Zuni Pueblo people call the owl “the Night Grandfather” because he does his work at night. Clairvoyant properties and uncovering deception have always been associated with owl. Its connection with wisdom comes from owl’s ability to discern that which cannot be “seen.”
- Handmade owl figurine by Noreen Simplicio of Zuni Pueblo
- Natural clay with all-natural vegetal and mineral slip
- Crafted through traditional horizontal coil method
- Raised frog designs
- Bowl measures ” H x W
- Comes with a signed Certificate of Authenticity
Handcrafted works of Native American art require special care. For more information about proper care and cleaning, please read our Care Guide.
Since 1979, Noreen Simplicio of Zuni Pueblo has been creating fine pottery that both amuses and awes collectors. Noreen’s whimsical lizards and frogs, which crawl in and out of her traditional seed pots and bowls, make everyone who sees them smile. Her stately pueblos, which circle the tops of finely painted ollas, are complete with villagers, pottery, and even little hand-carved cedar vigas!
Noreen uses both Zuni and resurrected Hawikku designs on thin whiteware, which reminds us all that Noreen is a traditional Zuni potter at heart.
Making pottery is a centuries-old art in Zuni. In the 19th century, Zuni pottery-making thrived, and works from this classic period can be identified by their designs: the “deer-in-house” or heartline deer, which is a deer with a spirit line running through it, as well as rosettes and rain birds. Pots from this period often featured brown slip on the base, rim, and interior. After the 1920s, traditional pottery-making declined as Zuni artists focused more on jewelry, which was far more popularity with tourists. Jewelry became a staple of the Zuni economy as the distinctive Zuni style of petit point cluster jewelry and channel inlay grew in popularity.
Traditional pottery-making was revived in the 1970s by Hopi potter Daisy Hooee Nampeyo, granddaughter of famed potter Nampeyo, and Acoma potter Jennie Laate. Today, more and more Zuni artists are making exceptional pottery from handmade natural clay, some with the traditional deer, rain bird, and rosette designs. Many create pottery in more contemporary styles, incorporating stylized lizards, frogs, dragonflies, feathers, and hatched lines that represent rain. Black-on-red and black or brown on a white background are popular colors, though contemporary Zuni potters are creating fine art pottery in a range of beautiful colors.
The most celebrated and recognized art form of the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico is pottery. Pueblo pottery is known around the world for its remarkable beauty and craftsmanship. It has been made in much the same way for over a thousand years, with every step of creation completed by hand.
Pueblo potters do not use a wheel, but construct pots using the traditional horizontal coil method, or freely forming the shape. After the pot is formed, the artist polishes the piece with a natural polishing stone, such as a river stone, then paints it with a vegetal, mineral, or commercial slip. Finally, the pot is fired in an outdoor fire or kiln using manure or wood as fuel.
Santa Clara, San Ildefonso, Jemez, and Acoma Pueblos have distinctive pottery styles that are especially prized by collectors, but accomplished potters are working in all Pueblos.
Today, Pueblo pottery is an exciting and dynamic form, with many artists pairing traditional techniques with innovative and stylized designs. Those potters who continue to create pots using traditional methods possess an extraordinary level of skill, and their pots are highly valuable works of fine art that will be enjoyed for generations to come.Read our Native American Pottery Collector's Guide.
At Shumakolowa Native Arts, we guarantee that your purchase is an original and authentic work handcrafted by Native American artists as defined by the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990. We ask our artists to complete an extensive certification process, providing a CIB (Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood) card and other documentation of their Native American heritage. Our team of experts carefully inspects every product to guarantee it is handcrafted using traditional, sustainable processes, and natural materials of only the highest quality. We record the place and date of each purchase, and pride ourselves in paying a fair price that allows artists to make a living practicing their craft.
Every work of handcrafted art comes with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by an artist or buyer. At a time when many commercially made products are being sold as handcrafted Native American art, our in-depth purchase process allows us to guarantee the authenticity of every unique piece of fine art we offer. For more than 35 years, we have made it a priority to visit artists in their studio or home to purchase their latest handcrafted pieces and learn about their work. We have developed lasting relationships with artists, as well as dealers and collectors, and we take pride in being a trusted destination for fine Native American art.