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Water Jar or Olla

Arts of the Americas

On View: American Identities: A New Look, Centennial Era, 5th Floor
Pottery making was practiced in the southwestern United States for at least two thousand years. Zuni and Cochiti potters created the three vessels here: two water jars and one drum jar, which would have had a hide stretched over the top for beating with drumsticks. Historically, women were the potters, collecting their own clays, coiling and finishing each pot by hand, and firing the pieces in open fires.

Pots were often traded and exchanged between pueblos, so that new ideas were constantly being generated. During the 1880s the advent of the railroad brought an influx of trading posts and tourists into the Southwest and entrepreneurial potters began selling to the non-Native market. Today, both male and female potters continue to form traditional works as well as generate exciting new forms of Pueblo pottery.
MEDIUM Ceramic, pigment
DATES late 19th century
DIMENSIONS height: 19 3/4 (50.2 cm); diameter: 8 7/8 in. (22.5 cm)  (show scale)
INSCRIPTIONS Catalogue number written in ink in middle of body surface. Small gummed label (20) is inside.
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in American Identities: A New Look, Centennial Era, 5th Floor
CREDIT LINE Riggs Pueblo Pottery Fund
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CAPTION Ko-Tyit (Cochiti Pueblo) (Native American). Water Jar or Olla, late 19th century. Ceramic, pigment, height: 19 3/4 (50.2 cm); diameter: 8 7/8 in. (22.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Riggs Pueblo Pottery Fund, 02.257.2471. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE overall, 02.257.2471_bw_SL5.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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Water Jar or Olla