Traditional Navajo pottery has changed much over the centuries. At one time they made not only very large storage jars, but also painted pottery. Then, sometime in the 1800s, the hataathli or Medicine Men decreed that painted pottery was off limits – too dangerous to make. Plainware then dominated. Most were coated with pinyon pitch immediately after firing to make them waterproof. Cooking pots, drums and serving bowls were made. It was beginning to disappear by the late 1940s, with only one Navajo family making pottery.

    It was revived in the 1950s largely to the efforts of Navajo potter Rose Williams and Bill Beaver, a trader fluent in Navajo, who liked the pottery and worked closely with the potters. On his first venture to sell Navajo pottery to shops he was having no luck until he came into my father's shop: dad bought every single piece he had.

 

(More Navajo ceramic pieces can be fund in the  Wedding Vase Gallery and the Treasure Chest Gallery.)

 

 

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Miniature pottery jewels by Wallace Nez. The wolf is 1.75 inches across and 1.25 inches high. SOLD. The delicate butterflies are 2 1/8 by 1.75 inches and $400. The magnificent eagle is 2 1/8 by 1.5 inches  and $400. (ALL IN TUCSON)

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Four rare and collectible large vessels by Navajo pottery matriarch, Rose Williams.

Top left: 14 inches high and 9.75 inches across. $800. Top right 10.5 inches high and 9.75 inches across. $875.00

Bottom left: 16 inches high and 9 inches across. $675.00 Bottom right with corn motif 13 inches high and 7 inches across. $800.00

ALL IN TUCSON

 

By Betty Manygoats, this exceptionally tall wedding vase embellished with horned lizards is 23.5 inches high. $1100. (TUCSON)