Object photography

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Object description

  • A:shiwi (Zuni Pueblo) artist
  • Olla (water or cooking vessel), Late 19th century
  • Ceramic, paint
  • Zuni pueblo, New Mexico, United States
  • H: 10 3/4 in, dia.: 12 in (H: 27.3 cm, dia.: 30.5 cm)
  • Gift of James and Margie Krebs, 2008
  • E303656
  • Used for cooking or storing water
  • Predominant motifs are stylized bird and rain clouds

This polychrome ceramic olla, shaped in the classic Zuni Pueblo form used for cooking or storing food or water, shows great execution of design, patina, and visual history. This jar depicts the abstracted geometric "rain bird" design, referencing the bird who brings much-needed rain to the arid Southwest through prayer and ceremony. The specific globular form, which was oft-repeated by Zuni potters, dates to the late 19th-century, with antecedents some two centuries previous.