Native American Culture/Native American Pottery


Mystery Pottery1
Mystery Pottery1  

Mystery Pottery2
Mystery Pottery2  
Received this pottery about 20 years ago from an aunt's estate and have wondered it's use ( making bread?) and what people/tribe it would be attributed to. Was probably bought in the 60s when she traveled to the southwest. Thank You!

She picked up a nice piece, Mark. This is certainly the work of a Keresan potter, from San Felipe, Santa Ana or Santo Domingo Pueblo. Typically the vessels made with the steps are used as storage vessels for prayer cornmeal or pollen, which is stored near a ceiling altar in the home. This is a very large one, so it might have been made for a Kiva Society within the pueblo, to keep in their kiva. Each morning, prayers are said to the dawn followed by a pinch of cornmeal or pollen to bless the people and the coming day. It is usually the job of the oldest mother in the household who is able. The rainbow over the deer is also used by the Acoma Pueblo people. It signifies "The House of the deer" where the deer are looked after in harmony by the Creator and given everything they need to live and raise their families. On your piece are also sun symbols and tadpoles which are a blessing of the Spring time and the fertility of the crops. It is a unique, rare item, and if we had it in inventory, we would be looking for a serious collector who might pay as much as $400 for it. Hope this helps.

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Richard Sutton


As a direct reservation trader in all aspects of American Indian arts since 1985, I've answered questions regarding cultural property issues, origins of traditional crafts, materials and techniques, collecting, authenticity, symbols and, of course, repairs! We have operated a retail gallery since that time, bricks and mortar until 2007 and online since 1996. Our online operation closed in 2/2015, to allow me to finally write full-time. My writing site can be found at I'll be adding a book or two from our trader experiences under the pen name of W.T. Durand and the rest of my fiction is under my own name. We are not "New Age" practitioners of adopted American Indian religious ceremonies or combined philosophies. If you are seeking such knowledge for spiritual reasons, we will only provide answers that address factual information on these subjects. Unless one is raised in a traditional, American Indian family with language, culture and religious belief intact, we don't believe that simply applying the trappings or cultural property of a given traditional group will give a non-Indian (Native if you prefer)any insight other than the academic.


My primary focus is on Southwester American Indian Nations and their people, but I also have experience in Plains and Northeastern traditions, having engaged in active trade and retail since 1985 and study for most of my life. I am not claiming any expertise at all in the work, techniques, lifeways or crafts that are made by the Native People of Mexico. They are not the same, either linguistically or culturally but certainly their crafts deserve discussion and appraisal by those who are able to provide real information.

I was a guest on Fox Network "Lifestyles" program, during the 1990s, to discuss how to tell forgeries, and authenticating jewelry as Native American work. I have also written extensively for our website, and our Ebay Store.

UofO, 1970 active in the Authentic American Indian Arts business and direct Trader since 1985. Graphic Designer and published novelist.

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