Canteen, ca. 1910

From the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture

Annie Healing Nampeyo, Hopi/Tewa, Gift of Henry Dendahl

Museum of Indian Arts and Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology, 7987/12

Photography by Addison Doty

 Both of these pieces, made for sale in the first half of the twentieth century, reflect the inseparability of ceramic art and water in the Native Southwest. On its exterior, the Santa Clara polychrome jar holds an avanyu, the Tewa horned water serpent, emblematic of clouds, rain, and lighting. In contrast, the canteen’s form, though now frequently produced for the tourist market, was originally developed to carry water. The canteen is reflective of Native peoples’ remarkable ability to flourish in the dry, arid Southwest.

Credit: Addison Doty

Note: Representative image at left is often cropped for display purposes. Downloaded high-resolution images are not cropped.