This pot was handmade by one of the matriarchs of 20th century Pueblo pottery, Lucy M. Lewis of Acoma Pueblo, known for her pioneering work that revitalized the form. Made in the traditional Acoma polychrome style of orange and black designs on a white background, this vessel celebrates the importance of rain in Pueblo life. A black scalloped design around the rim represents clouds, accented with white lines that represent rain. The curved, open-mouthed figures around the base represent rain parrots. A classic work from a legendary potter, this pot is a timeless addition to any collection of fine art.
- Pot handmade by Lucy M. Lewis (Acoma Pueblo)
- Natural clay with all-natural vegetal and mineral slip
- Crafted through traditional horizontal coil method
- Traditional Acoma orange, black and white polychrome style
- Cloud, rain and rain parrot designs
- Pot measures 3-3/4” high x 5-1/2” wide with 4-1/8” opening
- 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.
Lucy M. Lewis (1900-1992) of Acoma Pueblo is considered one of the matriarchs of Pueblo pottery. Along with Maria Martinez, she is probably the most famous Pueblo potter of the 20th century, known around the world for reviving 11th-century Mimbres style pottery, characterized by fine black lines painted on white slip. Lewis also made polychrome pottery of orange, black, yellow or brown designs on white slip, often with parrots, flowers, rainbows, stars or lightning patterns. Through her revolutionary advances in clay-making, design and craftsmanship, she revitalized handmade Pueblo pottery and brought worldwide attention to an ancient and revered art.
Acoma Pueblo has a tradition of pottery that stretches back centuries. Today, it is most known for a matte polychrome style of pottery featuring orange and black designs on a white background or black fine-line designs on a white background. This traditional style is widely sought after by Native art collectors and, in addition to its distinctive color scheme, can be identified by fluted rims, very thin walls and complex geometric designs. Acoma artists are known for the fineness of their pottery painting, often incorporating hatching patterns that symbolize rain as well as rain parrot designs, an animal that in Acoma legend led people to water. Lightning, clouds, rainbow bands and other elements of weather and nature are also popular designs. One of the most iconic and valuable pottery styles, Acoma pots represent a storied history of beauty and craftsmanship.
The rain parrot is a popular design motif in Pueblo pottery, particularly that of Acoma Pueblo, representing the Pueblo people’s reverence for rain and water. Southwestern people were introduced to parrots by Spanish traders and captivated by their beautiful colors. According to Acoma legend, the birds led people to water, and Pueblo people see them as special creatures who can mediate with the spirit world. Rain parrots are generally represented as a triangular beak with swirling tail feathers, though stylized and contemporary versions are also common.
The most celebrated and recognized art form of the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico, 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 completed by hand using all-natural materials. 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 or mineral 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 and the Hopi have distinctive pottery styles that are prized by collectors, but there are accomplished potters 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. 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.