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Distinguished Clay

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unknown Acoma Pueblo

Olla (Jar)

Early 20th century
Polychrome clay

height at rim; width at shoulder
10 7/16 in. x 10 5/8 in. (26.5 cm x 27 cm)
Gift of Katherine B. Twyeffort Greene and Susan Twyeffort Spoor

Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: 72.1.8
Geography: North and Central America, United States, New Mexico
Classification: Containers and Vessels; Vessels; Ollas
Culture/Nationality: Pueblo, Acoma
Collection: Twyeffort Collection
With its beautiful and intricate geometric designs, this olla demonstrates the Acoma Pueblo's typical decorative motifs, which usually include continuous angular and curved designs and occasionally large flowers or birds. The Acoma potters, who traditionally are women, may use decoration on their pottery to reflect important aspects of their culture and environment, including fertility, water, earth, weather, and sky.

This form of water jar initially met the practical needs of the Acoma people with its indented base for carrying on the head, but now is a sought-after Native American collector's item. This vessel represents one of many examples of Pueblo pottery in the North American collection at Bryn Mawr College that are used in introductory anthropology courses.

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<ref name=BMC>cite web |url= |title=Olla (Jar) |author=Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections |accessdate=6/15/2021 |publisher=Bryn Mawr College</ref>

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