Native American Pottery Information

Published on June 29, 2011 by Amy

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The southwest of the United States is home to a lot of prominent Native American pottery
The southwest of the United States
is home to a lot of prominent
Native American pottery

Native American culture represents not one culture, but can in fact be divided into the cultures of many tribes and nationalities. There is a wide variety of Native American pottery. While a lot of what may be thought of Native American pottery was created in the past, there has been no cessation of Native American art.

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There are many methods and materials for the making of Native American pottery, but there seem to be some commonalities. As with most forms of pottery, clay is essential to Native American pottery. Often, the clay is tempered with sands, soils and sometimes shells, plant, and other organic material in order to keep the clay strong during temperature changes that might occur when clay is fired or cooled.

Forms of Native American pottery

Native American pottery can be found in many forms, including pipes, vases, pots, bowls, jars and lamps, as well as decorations or art pieces. Variations are always possible. Historically, Native American pottery was more prominent among settled and agrarian tribes. Village-oriented tribes that needed to store crops like corn had more use for pottery.

Southwest Native American pottery

While pottery has been found in many places throughout the American continent, it seems that it is especially concentrated in what is now the southwestern United States. Navajo, Apache, Hopi and Pueblo pottery is relatively well known and often is what comes to mind when one thinks of Native American pottery. For example, the Navajo wedding vase is a highly sought after piece of pottery.

Southern New England

There is also a focus on the tribes of southern New England where pottery is concerned. As these societies grew more stable and settled around rivers, pottery became more prominent. For instance, pipes containing tobacco and some times medicinal substances have been found in historic sites of the region.

Contemporary Native American pottery

Native American pottery making is a living art. Jewelery, vases and other forms of pottery can be appreciated in many galleries and museums. Moreover, many pieces can now be purchased from Native American artists and suppliers of Native American art on-line, although discretion must be used if one wishes to purchase authentic Native American pottery as opposed to something not made by Native Americans or within the Native American tradition.

Source: ehow Unabridged
Based on the collective work of, © 2015 Native American Encyclopedia.
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