9 1/2 in. x 11 1/8 in. ( diameter) (24.13 cm x 28.26 cm)
Bryn Mawr College
North and Central America, United States, New Mexico, San Il Defonso Pueblo
Containers and Vessels; Vessels; Ollas
Pueblo, San Ildefonso
One of four vessels by acclaimed potter Maria Martinez in the Bryn Mawr collection, this olla illustrates her most famous style: a burnished black-on-black matte with simple and repetitive figural and geometric designs. This particular vessel displays a horned serpent (avanyu) and an eagle feather design, both frequent motifs used by Martinez. Among Pueblo peoples, the avanyu is believed to be a water spirit, with the wavy body representing underworld waters and the tongue representing lightning.
Martinez, a traditional potter, entered the national spotlight when she created this style of black-on-black ware with her husband, Julian Martinez, and began to sign her vessels. Through her exhibition of traditional pottery techniques at national events, Pueblo pottery gained recognition as an important American art form.
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- Kingdom containing multicellular organisms having cells bound by a plasma membrane and organized into tissue and specialized tissue systems that permit them to either move about in search of food or to draw food toward themselves. Unable to make their own food within themselves, as photosynthetic plants do, they rely on consuming preformed food. They possess a nervous system with sensory and motor nerves, enabling them to receive environmental stimuli and to respond with specialized movements.
- Large, bulbous, usually wide-mouthed earthenware or woven vessels used for holding water or food or for cooking; may have handles.