Sunday, April 22, 2012

More ...

Left-Handed Katsinas, 1999 (Detail). Aaron Fredericks (Hopi)
Carved and painted cottonwood root.

When I was photographing these Katsina figures, 
I felt as though two pair of dark eyes were watching me 
from behind their masks. It wasn't so much that I found the figures
to be "realistic," but more that the spirits portrayed seemed to have 
merely paused in their work while I walked through the room.
In fact, when I looked around and saw so many 
of the carved figures, I knew I would have to return 
another day, just to explore and to take their pictures. 
And to let the Katsina continue their work.

Left-Handed Katsinas

All of the work shown here is contemporary, done by craftsmen
who have carefully studied the artistic traditions of their ancestors 
in effort to carry on the heritage left to them. They are also seeking to
add to those traditions by exploring new forms and designs. 
This will keep the craft new and avoid their work becoming 
merely stale repetition of past successes. 

Haida Thunderbird Headdress, 1998
Robert Davidson (Haida, born 1946)
Red cedar, shell, and raffia
The two examples below are example of pottery traditions
that have survived because of study and respect for 
traditions and forms of the past, and of the courage to explore 
and develop new forms. Both potters are decendants
of Nampeyo, a Hopi artist who studied ancient potshards 
she found on the Hopi reservation where she lived,
developing her own style based on the traditional designs.
Within her lifetime, she was recognized as one of the
finest Hopi potters.

Seed Pot by Les Namingha
(Hopi-Tewa/Zumi, born 1968

Les Namingha is the grandson of Rachel Namingha Nampeyo,
who was the granddaughter of Nampeyo. The artist learned
his pottery making skills from his aunt, Dextra Quotskuyva,
herself a granddaughter of Nampeyo. Les is known as an innovator, 
always experimenting with new forms and designs.

Seed Pot, detail

Pot, 1990s, by Jacob Koopee (Hopi-Tewa, born 1970)
Jacob Koopee is the son of potters, Jacob Koopee, Sr. (Tiwa)
 and Georgia Dewakuku Koopee (Hopi). Among his teachers 
was his aunt, Dextra Quotskyva and his grandmother, Marie Koopee.
Jacob's great-great-grandmother, Nampeyo, derived much
of her design style from imagery found in the ancient Hopi village
of Sityaki. Much of Koopee's work is based on this design style.

Pot, Detail


dive said...

Breathtaking, Speedway!
That Jacob Koopee pot is astonishing. I love it and covet it from afar.
The Hopi art is new to me but ever since I was a kid I've been drawn to the northern Pacific coast peoples' art - the totems and masks - and the Haida headdress is a glorious continuation of that tradition. It's refreshing to see so much (and such fine) contemporary indigenous art.
You're a real eye-opener as always.

cieldequimper said...

Absolutely superb.

Speedway said...

Hello, Dive and Ciel. I'm glad you enjoyed these pictures. They are among 250 I took on Friday, most inside the Museum.

Everyone who's visited the place is pleased and surprised. It's full of both history and the new, the places that history is taking us. I love the Eiteljorg. It's neither musty nor commercialized "cool," though they do present shows designed to bring in what seems to be an unlikely audience. (Some of that tomorrow).

Dive, if you follow the links, they will take you to websites where the work of both potters and the Katsina carver, Fredericks, are available for sale. When putting the post together, I looked for additional info about Robert Davidson, but found none.