By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: A Study of Pueblo Pottery as Illustrative of Zuñi Culture Growth. - Fourth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1882-83, Government Printing Office, Washington, 1886, pages 467-522
Author: Cushing, Frank Hamilton, 1857-1900
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Study of Pueblo Pottery as Illustrative of Zuñi Culture Growth. - Fourth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1882-83, Government Printing Office, Washington, 1886, pages 467-522" ***

by the Bibliotheque nationale de France (BnF/Gallica) at


       *       *       *       *       *

                    A STUDY


                 PUEBLO POTTERY

               AS ILLUSTRATIVE OF
              ZUÑI CULTURE GROWTH.



  Habitations affected by environment                                  473
    Rectangular forms developed from circular                          475
    Flat and terraced roofs developed from sloping mesa-sites          477
    Added stories developed from limitations of cliff-house sites      479
    Communal pueblos developed from congregation of cliff-house tribes 480

  Pottery affected by environment                                      482
    Anticipated by basketry                                            483
    Suggested by clay-lined basketry                                   485
    Influenced by local minerals                                       493
    Influenced by materials and methods used in burning                495

  Evolution of forms                                                   497

  Evolution of decoration                                              506

  Decorative symbolism                                                 510


  FIG.                                                               Page.
  490.--A Navajo hut or hogan                                         473
  491.--Perspective view of earliest or Round-house structures of
        lava                                                          474
  492.--Plan of same                                                  475
  493.--Section of same                                               475
  494.--Evolution of rectangular forms in primitive architecture      476
  495.--Section illustrating evolution of flat roof and terrace       477
  496.--Perspective view of a typical solitary-house                  478
  497.--Plan of a typical solitary-house                              478
  498.--Typical cliff-dwelling                                        479
  499.--Typical terraced-pueblo--communal type                        480
  500.--Ancient gourd-vessel encased in wicker                        483
  501.--Havasupaí roasting-tray, with clay lining                     484
  502.--Zuñi roasting-tray of earthenware                             485
  503.--Havasupaí boiling-basket                                      486
  504.--Sketch illustrating the first stage in manufacture of latter  486
  505.--Sketch illustrating the second stage in manufacture of latter 486
  506.--Sketch illustrating the third stage in manufacture of latter  486
  507.--Typical example of basket decoration                          487
  508.--Typical example of basket decoration                          487
  509.--Typical example of basket decoration                          487
  510.--Terraced lozenge decoration or "Double-splint-stitch-form."
        (Shú k‘u tu lia tsí nan)                                      488
  511.--Terraced lozenge decoration or "Double-splint-stitch-form."
        (Shú k‘u tu lia tsí nan)                                      488
  512.--Double-splint-stitch, from which same was elaborated          488
  513.--Double-splint-stitch, from which same was elaborated          488
  514.--Diagonal parallel-line decoration. (Shú k‘ish pa tsí nan)     488
  515.--Study of splints at neck of unfinished basket illustrating
        evolution of latter                                           489
  516.--Example of indented decoration on corrugated ware             490
  517.--Example of indented decoration on corrugated ware             490
  518.--Cooking pot of spirally built or corrugated ware, showing
        conical projections near rim                                  490
  519.--The same, illustrating modification of latter                 491
  520.--Wicker water-bottle, showing double loops for suspension      491
  521.--Water-bottle of corrugated ware, showing double handle        492
  522.--The same, showing also plain bottom                           492
  523.--Food trencher or bowl of impervious wicker-work               497
  524.--Latter inverted, as used in forming bowls                     497
  525.--Ancient bowl of corrugated ware, showing comparative
        shallowness                                                   498
  526.--Basket-bowl as base-mold for large vessels                    499
  527.--Clay nucleus illustrating beginning of a vessel               499
  528.--The same shaped to form the base of a vessel                  499
  529.--The same as first placed in base-mold, showing beginning of
        spiral building                                               500
  530.--First form of vessel                                          500
  531.--Secondary form in mold, showing origin of spheroidal type of
        jar                                                           501
  532.--Scrapers or trowels of gourd and earthen-ware for smoothing
        pottery                                                       501
  533.--Finished form of a vessel in mold, showing amount of
        contraction in drying                                         501
  534.--Profile of olla or modern water-jar                           502
  535.--Base of same, showing circular indentation at bottom          502
  536.--Section of same, showing central concavity and circular
        depression                                                    502
  537.--"Milkmaid's boss," or annular mat of wicker for supporting
        round vessels on the head in carrying                         503
  538.--Use of annular mat illustrated                                503
  539.--Section of incipient vessel in convex-bottomed basket-mold    504
  540.--Section of same as supported on annular mat and wad of soft
        substance, for drying                                         504
  541.--Modern base-mold as made from the bottom of water jar         504
  542.--Example of Pueblo painted-ornamentation illustrating
        decorative value of open spaces  506
  543 and 544.--Amazonian basket-decorations, illustrating evolution
        of the above characteristic 507
  545.--Bowl, showing open or unjoined space in lines near rim        510
  546.--Water-jar, showing open or unjoined space in lines near rim   510
  547.--Conical or flat-bellied canteen                               512
  548 and 549.--The same, compared with human mammary gland           513
  550.--Double-lobed or hunter canteen (Me´ wi k‘i lik ton ne),
        showing teat-like projections and open spaces of contiguous
        lines                                                         514
  551.--Native painting of deer, showing space-line from mouth to
        heart                                                         515
  552.--Native painting of sea serpent, showing space-line from mouth
        to heart                                                      515
  553.--The fret of basket decoration                                 516
  554.--The fret of pottery decoration                                516
  555.--Scroll as evolved from fret in pottery decoration             516
  556.--Ancient Pueblo "medicine-jar"                                 517
  557.--Decoration of above compared with modern Moki rain symbol     517
  558.--Zuñi prayer-meal bowl illustrating symbolism in form and
        decoration                                                    518
  559.--Native paintings of sacred butterfly                          519
  560.--Native painting of sacred migratory "summer bird"             519
  561.--Rectangular or Iroquois type of earthen vessel                519
  562.--Kidney-shaped type of vessel of Nicaragua                     520
  563.--Iroquois bark vessel, showing angles of juncture              520
  564.--Porcupine quill decoration on bark vessel, for comparison
        with Fig. 561                                                 521
       *       *       *       *       *

              ZUÑI CULTURE-GROWTH.

       *       *       *       *       *

              BY FRANK H. CUSHING.

       *       *       *       *       *


It is conceded that the peculiarities of a culture-status are due
chiefly to the necessities encountered during its development. In this
sense the Pueblo phase of life was, like the Egyptian, the product of
a desert environment. Given that a tribe or stock of people is weak,
they will be encroached upon by neighboring stronger tribes, and
driven to new surroundings if not subdued. Such we may believe was the
influence which led the ancestors of the Pueblo tribes to adopt an
almost waterless area for their habitat.

It is apparent at least that they entered the country wherein their
remains occur while comparatively a rude people, and worked out there
almost wholly their incipient civilization. Of this there is important
linguistic evidence.

[Illustration: FIG. 490.--A Navajo hut.]

A Navajo hogan, or hut, is a beehive-shaped or conical structure (see
Fig. 490) of sticks and turf or earth, sometimes even of stones
chinked with mud. Yet its modern Zuñi name is _hám´ pon ne_, from _ha
we_, dried brush, sprigs or leaves; and _pó an ne_, covering, shelter
or roof (_po a_ to place over and _ne_ the nominal suffix); which,
interpreted, signifies a "brush or leaf shelter." This leads to the
inference that the temporary shelter with which the Zuñis were
acquainted when they formulated the name here given, presumably in
their earliest condition, was in shape like the Navajo hogan, but in
_material_, of brush or like perishable substance.

The archaic name for a building or walled inclosure is _hé sho ta_, a
contraction of the now obsolete term, _hé sho ta pon ne_, from _hé
sho_, gum, or resin-like; _shó tai e_, leaned or placed together
convergingly; and _tá po an ne_, a roof of wood or a roof supported by

[Illustration: FIG. 491.--Perspective view of earliest or Round-house
structure of lava.]

The meaning of all this would be obscure did not the oldest remains of
the Pueblos occur in the almost inaccessible lava wastes bordering the
southwestern deserts and intersecting them and were not the houses of
these ruins built on the plan of shelters, round (see Figs. 491, 492,
493), rather than rectangular. Furthermore, not only does the
lava-rock of which their walls have been rudely constructed resemble
natural asphaltum (_hé sho_) and possess a cleavage exactly like that
of piñon-gum and allied substances (also _hé sho_), but some forms of
lava are actually known as _á he sho_ or gum-rock. From these
considerations inferring that the name _hé sho ta pon ne_ derivatively
signifies something like "a gum-rock shelter with roof supports of
wood," we may also infer that the Pueblos on their coming into the
desert regions dispossessed earlier inhabitants or that they chose the
lava-wastes the better to secure themselves from invasion; moreover
that the oldest form of building known to them was therefore an
inclosure of lava-stones, whence the application of the contraction
_hé sho ta_, and its restriction to mean a walled inclosure.

[Illustration: FIG. 492.--Plan of Pueblo structure of lava.]

[Illustration: FIG. 493.--Section of Pueblo structure of lava.]


It may be well in this connection to cite a theory entertained by Mr.
Victor Mindeleff, of the Bureau of Ethnology, whose wide experience
among the southwestern ruins entitles his judgment to high
consideration. In his opinion the rectangular form of architecture,
which succeeds the type under discussion, must have been evolved from
the circular form by the bringing together, within a limited area, of
many houses. This would result in causing the wall of one circular
structure to encroach upon that of another, suggesting the partition
instead of the double wall. This partition would naturally be built
straight as a twofold measure of economy. Supposing three such houses
to be contiguous to a central one, each separated from the latter by a
straight wall, it may be seen that (as in the accompanying plan) the
three sides of a square are already formed, suggesting the
parallelogramic as a convenient style of sequent architecture.

[Illustration: FIG. 494.--Evolution of rectangular forms in primitive

All this, I need scarcely add, agrees not only with my own
observations in the field but with the kind of linguistic research
above recorded. It would also apparently explain the occurrence of the
circular semisubterranean _kí wi tsi we_, or estufas. These being
sacred have retained the pristine form long after the adoption of a
modified type of structure for ordinary or secular purposes, according
to the well known law of survival in ceremonial appurtenances.

In a majority of the lava ruins (for example those occurring near
Prescott, Arizona), I have observed that the sloping sides rather than
the level tops of _mesa_ headlands have been chosen by the ancients as
building-sites. Here, the rude, square type of building prevails, not,
however, to the entire exclusion of the circular type, which, is
represented by loosely constructed walls, always on the _outskirts_ of
the main ruins. The rectangular rooms are, as a rule, built row above
row. Some of the houses in the upper rows give evidence of having
overlapped others below. (See section, Fig. 495.)


We cannot fail to take notice of the indications which this brings
before us.

(1) It is quite probable that the overlapping resulted from an
increase in the numbers of the ancient builders relative to available
area, this, as in the first instance, leading to a further massing
together of the houses. (2) It suggested the employment of rafters and
the formation of the _flat_ roof, as a means of supplying a level
entrance way and floor to rooms which, built above and to the rear of
a first line of houses, yet extended partially over the latter. (3)
This is I think the earliest form of the terrace.

[Illustration: FIG. 495.--Section illustrating evolution of flat roof
and terrace]

It is therefore not surprising that the flat roof of to-day is named
_té k‘os kwïn ne_, from _te_, space, region, extension, _k‘os kwi e_,
to cut off in the sense of closing or shutting in from one side, and
_kwïn ne_, place of. Nor is it remarkable that no type of ruin in the
Southwest _seems_ to connect these first terraced towns with the later
not only terraced but also literally cellular buildings, which must be
regarded nevertheless as developed from them. The reason for this will
become evident on further examination.

[Illustration: FIG. 496.--Perspective view of a typical solitary

[Illustration: FIG. 497.--Plan of a typical solitary house.]

The modern name for house is _k‘iá kwïn ne_, from _k‘iá we_, water,
and _kwin ne_, place of, literally "watering place;" which is evidence
that the first properly so called houses known to the Pueblos were
solitary and built near springs, pools, streams, or well-places. The
universal occurrence of the vestiges of single houses throughout the
less forbidding tracts of the Pueblo country (see Figs. 496 and 497)
leads to this inference and to the supposition that the necessity for
protection being at last overcome, the denizens of the lava-fields,
where planting was well-nigh impossible, descended, building wherever
conditions favored the horticulture which gradually came to be their
chief means of support. As irrigation was not known until long
afterwards, arable areas were limited, hence they were compelled to
divide into families or small clans, each occupying a single house.
The traces of these solitary farm-houses show that they were at first
single-storied. The name of an upper room indicates how the idea of
the second or third story was developed, as it is _ósh ten u thlan_,
from _ósh ten_, a shallow cave, or rock-shelter, and _ú thla nai e_,
placed around, embracing, inclusive of. This goes to show that it was
not until after the building of the first small farm-houses (which
gave the name to houses) that the caves or rock-shelters of the
cliffs were occupied. If predatory border-tribes, tempted by the
food-stores of the horticultural farm-house builders, made incursions
on the latter, they would find them, scattered as they were, an easy


[Illustration: FIG. 498.--A typical cliff-dwelling.]

This condition of things would drive the people to seek security in
the neighboring cliffs of fertile canons, where not only might they
build their dwelling places in the numerous rock-shelters, but they
could also cultivate their crops in comparative safety along the
limited tracts which these eyries overlooked. The narrow foothold
afforded by many of these elevated cliff-shelves or shelters would
force the fugitives to construct house over house; that is, build a
second or upper story around the roof of the cavern. What more
natural than that this upper room should take a name most descriptive
of its situation--as that portion built around the cavern-shelter or
_ósh ten_--or that, when the intervention of peace made return to the
abandoned farms of the plains or a change of condition possible, the
idea of the second story should be carried along and the name first
applied to it survive, even to the present day? That the upper story
took its name from the rock-shelter may be further illustrated. The
word _ósh ten_ comes from _ó sho nan te_, the condition of being
dusky, dank, or mildewy; clearly descriptive of a cavern, but not of
the most open, best lighted, and driest room in a Pueblo house.

To continue, we may see how the necessity for protection would drive
the petty clans more and more to the cliffs, how the latter at every
available point would ultimately come to be occupied, and thus how the
"_Cliff-dwelling_" (see Fig. 498), was confined to no one section but
was as universal as the farm-house type of architecture itself, so
widespread, in fact, that it has been heretofore regarded as the
monument of a great, now extinct _race_ of people!


[Illustration: FIG. 499.--Typical terraced communal pueblo.]

We may see, finally, how at last the cañons proved too limited and in
other ways undesirable for occupation, the result of which was the
confederation of the scattered cliff-dwelling clans, and the
construction, first on the overhanging cliff-tops, then on _mesas_,
and farther and farther away, of great, many-storied towns, any one of
which was named, in consequence of the bringing together in it of many
houses and clans, _thlu él lon ne_, from _thlu a_, many springing up,
and _él lon a_, that which stands, or those which stand; in other
words, "many built standing together." This cannot be regarded as
referring to the simple fact that a village is necessarily composed of
many houses standing together. The name for any other village than a
communal pueblo is _tí na kwïn ne_, from _tí na_--many sitting around,
and _kwïn ne_, place of. This term is applied by the Zuñis to all
villages save their own and those of ourselves, which latter they
regard as Pueblos, in their acceptation of the above native word.

Here, then, in strict accordance with, the teachings of myth,
folk-lore and tradition, I have used the linguistic argument as
briefest and most convincing in indicating the probable sequence of
architectural types in the evolution of the Pueblo; from the brush
lodge, of which only the name survives, to the recent and present
terraced, many-storied, communal structures, which we may find
throughout New Mexico, Arizona, and contiguous parts of the
neighboring Territories.[1]

   [1] See for confirmation the last Annual Report to the
   Archæological Institute of America, by Adolph F. Bandelier, one
   of the most indefatigable explorers and careful students of early
   Spanish history in America.


There is no other section of the United States where the potter's art
was so extensively practiced, or where it reached such a degree of
perfection, as within the limits of these ancient Pueblo regions. To
this statement not even the prolific valleys of the Mississippi and
its tributaries form an exception.

On examining a large and varied collection of this pottery, one would
naturally regard it either as the product of four distinct peoples or
as belonging to four different eras, with an inclination to the
chronologic division.

When we see the reasonable probability that the architecture, the
primeval arts and industries, and the culture of the Pueblos are
mainly indigenous to the desert and semi-desert regions of North
America, we are in the way towards an understanding of the origin and
remarkable degree of development in the ceramic art.

In these regions water not only occurs in small quantities, but is
obtainable only at points separated by great distances, hence to the
Pueblos the first necessity of life is the transportation and
preservation of water. The skins and paunches of animals could be used
in the effort to meet this want with but small success, as the heat
and aridity of the atmosphere would in a short time render water thus
kept unfit for use, and the membranes once empty would be liable to
destruction by drying. So far as language indicates the character of
the earliest water vessels which to any extent met the requirements of
the Zuñi ancestry, they were tubes of wood or sections of canes. The
latter, in ritualistic recitation, are said to have been the
receptacles that the creation-priests filled with the sacred water
from the ocean of the cave-wombs of earth, whence men and creatures
were born, and the name for one of these cane water vessels is _shó
tom me_, from _shó e_, cane or canes, and _tóm me_, a wooden tube.
Yet, although in the extreme western borders of the deserts, which
were probably the first penetrated by the Pueblos, the cane grows to
great size and in abundance along the two rivers of that country, its
use, if ever extensive, must have speedily given way to the use of
gourds, which grew luxuriantly at these places and were of better
shapes and of larger capacity. The name of the gourd as a vessel is
_shoṕ tom me_, from _shó e_, canes, _pó pon nai e_, bladder-shaped,
and _tóm me_, a wooden tube; a seeming derivation (with the exception
of the interpolated sound significant of form) from _shó tom me_. The
gourd itself is called _mó thlâ â_, "hard fruit." The inference is
that when used as a vessel, and called _shoṕĭ tom me_, it must have
been named after an older form of vessel, instead of after the plant
or fruit which produced it.

While the gourd was large and convenient in form, it was difficult of
transportation owing to its fragility. To overcome this it was encased
in a coarse sort of wicker-work, composed of fibrous yucca leaves or
of flexible splints. Of this we have evidence in a series of
gourd-vessels among the Zuñis, into which the sacred water is said to
have been transferred from the tubes, and a pair of which one of the
priests, who came east with me two years ago, brought from New Mexico
to Boston in his hands--so precious were they considered as
relics--for the purpose of replenishing them with water from the
Atlantic. These vessels are encased rudely but strongly in a meshing
of splints (see Fig. 500), and while I do not positively claim that
they have been piously preserved since the time of the universal use
of gourds as water-vessels by the ancestry of this people, they are
nevertheless of considerable antiquity. Their origin is attributed to
the priest-gods, and they show that it must have once been a common
practice to encase gourds, as above described, in osiery.

[Illustration: FIG. 500.--Gourd vessel enclosed in wicker.]


This crude beginning of the wicker-art in connection with
water-vessels points toward the development of the wonderful
water-tight basketry of the southwest, explaining, too, the
resemblance of many of its typical forms to the shapes of
gourd-vessels. Were we uncertain of this, we might again turn to
language, which designates the impervious wicker water-receptacle of
whatever outline as _tóm ma_, an evident derivation from the
restricted use of the word _tóm me_ in connection with gourd or cane
vessels, since a basket of any other kind is called _tsí ì le_.

It is readily conceivable that water-tight osiery, once known, however
difficult of manufacture, would displace the general use of
gourd-vessels. While the growth of the gourd was restricted to limited
areas, the materials for basketry were everywhere at hand. Not only
so, but basket-vessels were far stronger and more durable, hence more
readily transported full of water, to any distance. By virtue of their
rough surfaces, any leakage in such vessels was instantly stopped by a
daubing of pitch or mineral asphaltum, coated externally with sand or
coarse clay to harden it and overcome its adhesiveness.

[Illustration: FIG. 501.--Havasupai clay-lined roasting-tray.]

We may conclude, then, that so long as the Pueblo ancestry were
semi-nomadic, basketry supplied the place of pottery, as it still does
for the less advanced tribes of the Southwest, except in cookery.
Possibly for a time basketry of this kind served in place of pottery
even for cookery, as with one of the above-mentioned tribes, the _Ha
va su paí_ or Coçoninos, of Cataract Cañon, Arizona. These people,
until recently, were cut off from the rest of the world by their
almost impenetrable cañon, nearly half a mile in depth at the point
where they inhabit it. For example, when I visited them in 1881, they
still hafted sharpened bits of iron, like celts, in wood. They had not
yet forgotten how to boil food in water-tight basketry, by means of
hot stones, and continued to roast seeds, crickets, and bits of meat
in wicker-trays, coated inside with gritty clay. (See Fig. 501.) The
method of preparing and using these roasting-trays has an important
bearing on several questions to which reference will be made further
on. A round basket-tray, either loosely or closely woven, is evenly
coated inside with clay, into which has been kneaded a very large
proportion of sand, to prevent contraction and consequent cracking
from drying. This lining of clay is pressed, while still soft, into
the basket as closely as possible with the hands and then allowed to
dry. The tray is thus made ready for use. The seeds or other
substances to be parched are placed inside of it, together with a
quantity of glowing wood-coals. The operator, quickly squatting,
grasps the tray at opposite edges, and, by a rapid spiral motion up
and down, succeeds in keeping the coals and seeds constantly shifting
places and turning over as they dance after one another around and
around the tray, meanwhile blowing or puffing, the embers with every
breath to keep them free from ashes and glowing at their hottest.

That this clay lining should grow hard from continual heating, and in
some instances separate from its matrix of osiers, is apparent. The
clay form thus detached would itself be a perfect roasting-vessel.


This would suggest the agency of gradual heat in rendering clay fit
for use in cookery and preferable to any previous makeshift. The
modern Zuñi name for a parching-pan, which is a shallow bowl of
black-ware, is _thlé mon ne_, the name for a basket-tray being _thlä´
lin ne_. The latter name signifies a shallow vessel of twigs, or _thlá
we_; the former etymologically interpreted, although of earthenware,
is a hemispherical vessel of the same kind and _material_. All this
would indicate that the _thlä´ lin ne_, coated with clay for roasting,
had given birth to the _thlé mon ne_, or parching-pan of earthenware.
(See Fig. 502.)

[Illustration: FIG. 502.--Zuñi earthenware roasting tray.]

Among the Havasupaí, still surviving as a sort of bucket, is the
basket-pot or boiling-basket, for use with hot stones, which form I
have also found in some of the cave deposits throughout the ancient
Zuñi country. These vessels (see Fig. 503) were bottle-shaped and
provided near the rims of their rather narrow mouths with a sort of
cord or strap-handle, attached to two loops or eyes (Fig. 503 _a_)
woven into the basket, to facilitate handling when the vessel was
filled with hot water. In the manufacture of one of these vessels,
which are good examples of the helix or spirally-coiled type of
basket, the beginning was made at the center of the bottom. A small
wisp of fine, flexible grass stems or osiers softened in water was
first spirally wrapped a little at one end with a flat, limber splint
of tough wood, usually willow (see Fig. 504). This wrapped portion was
then wound upon itself; the outer coil thus formed (see Fig. 505)
being firmly fastened as it progressed to the one already made by
passing the splint wrapping of the wisp each time it was wound around
the latter through some strands of the contiguous inner coil, with the
aid of a bodkin. (See Fig. 506.) The bottom was rounded upward and the
sides were made by coiling the wisp higher and higher, first outward,
to produce the bulge of the vessel, then inward, to form the tapering
upper part and neck, into which, the two little twigs or splint
loop-eyes were firmly woven. (See again Fig. 503 _a_.)

[Illustration: FIG. 503.--Havasupaí boiling-basket.]

[Illustration: FIG. 504. FIG. 505. FIG. 506.
               Sketches illustrating manufacture of
               spirally-coiled basketry.]

[Illustration: FIG. 507.--Typical basket decoration.]

[Illustration: FIG. 508.--Typical basket decoration.]

[Illustration: FIG. 509.--Typical basket decoration.]

These and especially kindred forms of basket-vessels were often quite
elaborately ornamented, either by the insertion at proper points of
dyed wrapping-splints, singly, in pairs, or in sets, or by the
alternate painting of pairs, sets, or series of stitches. Thus were
produced angular devices, like serrated bands, diagonal or zigzag
lines, chevrons, even terraces and frets. (See Figs. 507, 508, 509.)
There can be no doubt that these styles and ways of decoration were
developed, along with the weaving of baskets, simply by elaborating on
suggestions of the lines and figures unavoidably produced in
wicker-work of any kind when strands of different colors happened to
be employed together. Even slight discolorations in occasional splints
would result in such suggestions, for the stitches would here show,
there disappear. The probability of this view of the accidental origin
of basket-ornamentation may be enhanced by a consideration of the
etymology of a few Zuñi decorative terms, more of which might be given
did space admit. A terraced lozenge (see Figs. 510, 511), instead of
being named after the abstract word _a wi thlui ap í pä tchi na_,
which signifies a double terrace or two terraces joined together at
the base, is designated _shu k‘u tu li a tsi´ nan_, from _shu e_,
splints or fibers; _k‘u tsu_, a double fold, space, or stitch (see
Figs. 512, 513); _li a_, an interpolation referring to form; and _tsi´
nan_, mark; in other words, the "double splint-stitch-form mark."
Likewise, a pattern, composed principally of a series of diagonal or
oblique parallel lines _en masse_ (see Fig. 514), is called _shu´
k‘ish pa tsí nan_, from _shú e_, splints; _k‘i´sh pai e_, tapering
(_k‘ish pon ne_, neck or smaller part of anything); and _tsí nan_,
mark; that is, "tapering" or "neck-splint mark." Curiously enough, in
a bottle-shaped basket as it approaches completion the splints of the
tapering part or neck all lean spirally side by side of one another
(see Fig. 515), and a term descriptive of this has come to be used as
that applied to lines resembling it, instead of a derivative from _ä´s
sël lai e_, signifying an oblique or leaning line. Where splints
variously arranged, or stitches, have given names to decorations--applied
even to painted and embroidered designs--it is not difficult for us to
see that these same combinations, at first unintentional, must have
suggested the forms to which they gave names as decorations.

[Illustration: FIG. 510. FIG. 511.
               Terraced lozenge decoration, or

[Illustration: FIG. 512. FIG. 513.

[Illustration: FIG. 514.--Diagonal parallel-line decoration.]

[Illustration: FIG. 515.--Splints at neck of unfinished basket.]

[Illustration: FIG. 516. FIG. 517.
               Examples of indented decoration on corrugated ware.]

[Illustration: FIG. 518.--Cooking-pot of corrugated ware, showing
               conical projections near rim.

_Pueblo coiled pottery developed from basketry._--Seizing the
suggestion afforded by the rude tray-molded parching-bowls,
particularly after it was discovered that if well burned they resisted
the effects of water as well as of heat, the ancient potter would
naturally attempt in time to reproduce the boiling-basket in clay. She
would find that to accomplish this she could not use as a mold the
inside of the boiling-basket, as she had the inside of the tray,
because its neck was smaller than its body. Nor could she form the
vase by plastering the clay outside of the vessel, not only for the
same reason, but also because the clay in drying would contract so
much that it would crack or scale off. Naturally, then, she pursued
the process she was accustomed to in the manufacture of the
basket-bottle. That is, she formed a thin rope of soft clay, which,
like the wisp of the basket, she coiled around and around a center to
form the bottom, then spirally upon itself, now widening the diameter
of each coil more and more, then contracting as she progressed upward
until the desired height and form were attained. As the clay was
adhesive, each coil was attached to the one already formed by
pinching or pressing together the connecting edges at short intervals
as the winding went on. This produced corrugations or indentations
marvelously resembling the stitches of basket-work. Hence accidentally
the vessel thus built up appeared so similar to the basket which had
served as its model that evidently it did not seem complete until this
feature had been heightened by art. At any rate, the majority of
specimens belonging to this type of pottery--especially those of the
older periods during which it was predominant--are distinguished by an
indented or incised decoration exactly reproducing the zigzags,
serrations, chevrons, terraces, and other characteristic devices of
water-tight basketry. (Compare Figs. 516, 517 with Figs. 507, 508.)
Evidently with a like intention two little cone-like projections were
attached to the neck near the rim of the vessel (see Fig. 518) which
may hence be regarded as survivals of the loops whereby it has been
seen the ends of the strap-handle were attached to the boiling-basket.
(See again Fig. 503, _a_.) Although varied in later times to form
scrolls, rosettes, and other ornate figures (see Fig. 519), they
continued ever after quite faithful features of the spiral type of
pot, and may even sometimes be seen on the cooking-vessels of modern
Zuñi. To add yet another link to this chain of connection between the
coiled boiling-basket and the spirally-built cooking-pot, the names of
the two kinds of vessels may be given. The boiling-basket was known as
_wó li a k‘ia ni tu li a tom me_, the corrugated cooking pot as _wo li
a k‘ia te´ ni tu li a ton ne_, the former signifying "coiled
cooking-basket," the latter "coiled earthenware cooking-basket."

[Illustration: FIG. 519--Cooking-pot of corrugated ware, showing
               modified projections near rim.]

[Illustration: FIG. 520.--Wicker water-bottle, showing double loops for

Other very important types of vessels were made in a similar way. I
refer especially to canteens and water-bottles. The water-bottle of
wicker differed little from the boiling-basket. It was generally
rounder-bodied, longer and narrower necked, and provided at one side
near the shoulders or rim with two loops of hair or strong fiber,
usually braided. (See Fig. 520.) The ends of the burden-strap passed
through these loops made suspension of the vessel easy, or when the
latter was used simply as a receptacle, the pair of loops served as a
handle. Sometimes these basket-bottles were strengthened at the bottom
with rawhide or buckskin, stuck on with gum. When, in the evolution of
the pitcher, this type of basket was reproduced in clay, not only was
the general form preserved, but also the details above described. That
is, without reference to usefulness--in fact at no small expense of
trouble--the handles were almost always made double (see Fig. 521);
indeed, often braided, although of clay. Frequently, especially as
time went on, the bottoms were left plain, as if to simulate the
smooth skin-bottoming of the basket-bottles. (See Fig. 522.) At first
it seems odd that with all these points of similarity the two kinds of
water-vessel should have totally dissimilar names; the basket-bottle
being known as the _k‘iá pu k‘ia tom me_, from _k‘iá pu kĭa_, "for
carrying or placing water in," and _tóm me_; the handled earthen
receptacle, as the _í mush ton ne_. Yet when we consider that the
latter was designed not for transporting water, for which it was less
suited than the former, but for holding it, for which it was even
preferable, the discrepancy is explained, since the name _í mush ton
ne_ is from _i´ mu_, to sit, and _tóm me_, a tube. This indicates,
too, why the basket-bottle was not displaced by the earthen bottle.
While the former continued in use for bringing water from a distance,
the latter was employed for storing it. As the fragile earthen vessels
were much more readily made and less liable to become tainted, they
were exclusively used as receptacles, removing the necessity of the
tedious manufacture of a large number of the basket-bottles. Again, as
the pitcher was thus used exclusively as a receptacle, to be set aside
in household or camp, the name _í´ mush ton ne_ sufficed without the
interpolation _te_--"earthenware"--to distinguish it as of _terra
cotta_, instead of osiery.

[Illustration: FIG. 521.--Water-bottle of corrugated ware, showing
               double handle.]

[Illustration: FIG. 522.--Water-bottle of corrugated ware, showing
               plain bottom.]


Before discussing the origin of other forms, it may be well to
consider briefly some influences, more or less local, which, in
addition to the general effect of gourd-forms in suggesting
basket-types and of the latter in shaping earthenware, had
considerable bearing on the development of ceramic art in the
Southwest, pushing it to higher degrees of perfection and diversity in
some parts than in others.

Perhaps first in importance among these influences was the mineral
character of a locality. Where clay occurred of a fine tough texture,
easily mined and manipulated, the work in _terra cotta_ became
proportionately more elaborate in variety and finer in quality. There
are to be found about the sites of some ancient pueblos, potsherds
incredibly abundant and indicating great advancement in decorative
art, while near others, architecturally similar, even where evidence
of ethnic connection is not wanting, only coarse, crudely-molded, and
painted fragments are discoverable, and these in limited quantity.

An example in point is the ruined pueblo of _A´ wat u i_ or
_Aguatóbi_, as it was known to the Spaniards at the time of the
conquest, when it was the leading "city of the Province of Tusayan,"
now Moki. Over the entire extent of this ruin, and to a considerable
distance around it, fragments of the greatest variety in color, shape,
size, and finish of ware occur in abundance. In the immediate
neighborhood, however, are extensive, readily accessible formations
producing several kinds of clay and nearly all the color minerals
used in the Pueblo potter's art. Yet at the greatest ruin on the upper
Colorado Chiquito (in an arm of the valley of which river _A´ wat ú i_
itself occurs), where the fallen walls betoken equal advancement in
the status of the ancient builders and indicate by their vast extent
many times the population of _A´ wat u i_, the potsherds are coarse,
irregular in curvature, badly decayed, and exceptionally scarce. In
the immediate neighborhood of this ruin, I need not add, clay is of
rare occurrence and poor in quality.

A more reliable example is furnished by the farming pueblos of Zuñi.
At _Hé sho ta tsí nan_ or Ojo del Pescado, fifteen miles east of Zuñi,
clays of several varieties and color minerals are abundant. The finest
pottery of the tribe is made there in great quantity, while,
notwithstanding the facilities for transportation which the Zuñis now
possess, at the opposite farming town of _K‘iáp kwai na kwin_, or Los
Ojos Calientes, where clay is scarce and of poor texture, the pottery,
although somewhat abundant, is of miserable quality and of bad shape.

In quality of art quite as much as in that of material this local
influence was great. In the neighborhood of ruined pueblos which occur
near mineral deposits furnishing a great variety of pigment-material,
the decoration of the ceramic remains is so surprisingly and
universally elaborate, beautiful, and varied as to lead the observer
to regard the people who dwelt there as different from the people who
had inhabited towns about the sites of which the sherds show not only
meager skill and less profuse decorative variety, but almost typical
dissimilarity. Yet tradition and analogy, even history in rare
instances, may declare that the inhabitants of both sections were of
common derivation, if not closely related and contemporaneous.
Probably, at no one point in the Southwest was ceramic decoration
carried to a higher degree of development than at _A´ wat u i_, yet
the Oraibes, by descent the modern representatives of the _A´ wat u i
ans_ are the poorest potters and painters among the Mokis. Near their
pueblo the clay and other mineral deposits mentioned as abundant at
_A´ wat u i_ are meager and inaccessible. Still, it may be urged that
time may have introduced other than natural causes for change; this
could not be said of another example pertaining to one period and a
single tribe. I refer again to the Zuñis. The manufactures of Pescado
probably surpass in decorative excellence all other modern Pueblo
pottery, while both in their lack of variety and in delicacy of
execution of their painted patterns the fictiles of Ojo Caliente are
so inferior and diverse from the other Zuñi work that the future
archæologist will have need to beware, or (judging alone from the
ceramic remains which he finds at the two pueblos) he will attribute
them at least to distinct periods, perhaps to diverse peoples.


Other influences, to a less extent local, had no inconsiderable effect
on primitive Pueblo pottery: materials employed and methods resorted
to in burning.

Only one kind of fuel, except for a single class of vessels, is now
used in pottery-firing; namely, dried cakes or slabs of sheep-dung.
Anciently, several varieties, such as extremely dry sage-brush or
grease-wood, piñon and other resinous woods, dung of herbivora when
obtainable, charcoal, and also bituminous or cannel-coal were
employed. The principal agent seems, however, to have been dead-wood
or spunk, pulverized and moistened with some adhesive mixture so that
flat cakes could be formed of it. I infer this not alone from Zuñi
tradition, which is not ample, but from the fact that the sheep-dung
now used is called, in the condition of fuel, _kú ne a_, while its
name in the abstract or as sheep-dung simply is _má he_. Dry-rot wood
or spunk is known as _kú me_. In the shape of flat cakes it would be
termed _kú mo we_ or _kú me a_, whence I doubt not the modern word _kú
ne a_ is derived.

Of methods, four were in vogue. The simplest and worst consisted in
burying the vessel to be burned under hot ashes and building a fire
around it, or inverting it over a bed of embers and encircling it with
a blazing fire of brush-wood, as is still the practice of the
Maricopas and other sedentary tribes of the Gila. The most common was
building a little cone or dome of fuel over the articles to be baked
and firing; the most perfect was to dig or construct under ground a
little cist or kiln, line it evenly with fuel, leaving a central space
for the green ware, and slowly fire the whole mass.

Irrespective of the kind of fuel used, the baking by ash-burial made
the ware gray, cloudy, or dingy, and not very durable. Pottery burned
with sage or grease-wood was firm, light gray unless of ocherous clay,
less cloudy than if ash-baked, yet mottled. Turf and dung, although
easily managed, did not thoroughly harden the pottery, but burned it
very evenly; dead wood or spunk-cakes baked as evenly as any of the
materials thus far mentioned, and more thoroughly than the others.
Resinous or pitchy woods, while they produced a much higher degree of
heat, could be used only when color was unimportant, as they still are
used to some extent in the firing of black-ware or cooking pots. The
latter, while still hot from a preliminary burning, if coated
externally with the mucilaginous juice of green cactus, internally
with piñon gum or pitch, and fired a second or even a third time with
resinous wood-fuel, are rendered absolutely fire-proof, semi-glazed
with a black gloss inside, and wonderfully durable. Tradition
represents that by far the most perfect fuel was found to be cannel
coal, and that, where abundant, accessible, and of an extremely
bituminous quality, it was much used. The traces of little pit-kilns
filled with, cinders of mineral coal about many of the ruins in the
northwestern portion of the Pueblo region, coupled with the
semi-fusion and well-preserved condition of most of the ancient jars
found associated with them, certainly give support to this tradition.
Happily I have additional confirmation. When, two years ago, I was
engaged in making ethnologic collections at Moki for the United States
National Museum, some Indians of the _Te wa_ pueblo brought me a
quantity of pottery. It had been made with the purpose of deceiving
me, in careful imitation of ancient types, and was certainly equal to
the latter in lightness and the condition of the burning. I paid these
enterprising Indians as good a price as they had been accustomed to
getting for genuine ancient specimens, but told them that, being a
Zuñi, I was almost one of themselves, hence they could not deceive me,
and asked them how they had so cleverly succeeded in burning the ware.
They laughingly replied that they had simply dug some bituminous coal
(_u á ko_) and used it in little pits. When I further asked them why
they did not burn their household utensils thus, they said it was too
uncertain; representing that the pots did not like to be burned in the
_u á ko_, probably because it was so hot, hence they broke more
frequently than if fired in the common way with dried sheep-dung;
furthermore the latter was less troublesome, requiring only to be dug
from the corrals near at hand and dried to make it ready for use.

This partially explains why the art of water-tight basket-making has
here gradually declined since the Spanish conquest, as the ceramic
industry has increased with the introduction of the sheep, which
furnishes fuel for the burning, and the horse, before unknown, has
facilitated transportation, whereby trade for this class of basketry
with the distant nomadic tribes who still make it is rendered easy.
Withal, however, the quality of pottery has not improved, but has
deteriorated; as sheep-dung is but an inferior fuel for firing.


[Illustration: FIG. 523.--Food trencher of wicker-work.]

[Illustration: FIG. 524.--Latter inverted, as used in forming bowls]

Bearing these statements in mind, the discussion of the evolution as
well as of the distribution of form, and later of the evolution of
decoration, in pottery will become easier. By lingering steps there
was early developed a method of building up vessels by a process
differing in part from the spiral. As the parching-bowl had been
evolved from the roasting-tray, so, we may infer, the food-bowl was
suggested by the hemispherical food-trencher of wicker-work. (See Fig.
523.) Yet, curiously enough, the inside of the latter seems not at
first to have been used in molding the food-bowl, as, it will be
remembered, the tray had been in forming the parching-pan. On the
contrary, the clay was coiled around and around the _outside_ of the
bottom of an inverted basket bowl (see Fig. 524), instead of being
pressed evenly into it. As with the cooking pot, so with this; as the
coiling progressed it was corrugated, not so much, however from
necessity, as from habit. In consequence of the difficulty experienced
in removing these bowl-forms from the bottoms of the baskets--which
had to be done while they were still plastic, to keep them from
cracking--they were made very shallow. Hence the specimens found among
the older ruins and graves are not only corrugated outside, but are
also very wide in proportion to their height. (See Fig. 525.) As time
went on it was found that bowls might be made deeper, and yet readily
be taken off from the basket bottoms, if slightly moistened outside
and pressed evenly all around, or, better still, scraped; for, being
plastic, this proceeding caused them to grow thinner, consequently
larger, thereby to loosen from the basket over which they had been
molded. As a result of this scraping, however, the corrugated surface
was destroyed, nor could it easily be restored. Therefore bowls when
made deep were, as a rule, smooth on the outside as well as on the
interior surface. When by a perfectly natural sequence of events--as
will be shown further on--ornamentation by painting came to be applied
first to the plain interiors of the bowls, the smooth outer surface
was found preferable to the corrugated surface, not only because it
took paint more readily, but also because the bowl, when painted
outside as well as inside, formed a far handsomer utensil for
household use than if simply decorated by the older methods. As a
consequence, we find that, while the larger vessels continued to be
corrugated and indented, the smoothed and painted bowl came into
general use. Associated later on with this secondary type of bowls
occurred the larger vessels plain at the bottoms, still corrugated at
the sides. Nor is this surprising, as the bowl, molded on the basket
bottom and there smoothed, could be afterward built up by the spiral
process. When in time the huge hemispherical canteens or water
carriers of earthen-ware replaced the basket bottles, so also the
water jar or _olla_ replaced the handled sitter or pitcher, since it
could be made larger to receive more copious supplies of water than
the strength of the frail handles on the pitchers would warrant.

[Illustration: FIG. 525.--Ancient bowl of corrugated ware.]

The water jar, like the food-bowl, is a conspicuous household article;
for which reason the Zuñi woman expends all her ability to render them
handsome. Judging by this, the desire to decorate the water-vessel
with paint, like its constant companion the food-bowl, would early
lead to the attempt to make its surface smooth. This would need to be
effected while the article was still soft; which necessity probably
led to the discovery that ajar of the corrugated or simply coiled type
may be smoothed while still plastic without danger of distortion, no
matter what its size, if supported at the bottom in a basket or other
mold so that it may be shifted or turned about without direct
handling. (See Fig. 526.)

[Illustration: FIG. 526.--Basket-bowl as base-mold for large vessels.]

[Illustration: FIG. 527.--Clay nucleus for a vessel.]

[Illustration: FIG. 528.--Clay nucleus shaped to form the base of a

After this discovery was made, the molding of large vessels was no
longer accomplished by the spiral method exclusively. A lump of clay,
hollowed out (see Fig. 527), was shaped how rudely so ever on the
bottom of the basket or in the hand (see Fig. 528), then placed inside
of a hemispherical basket-bowl and stroked until pressed outward to
conform with the shape, and to project a little above the edges of its
temporary mold, whence it was built up spirally (see Fig. 529) until
the desired form had been attained, after which it was smoothed by
scraping (see Fig. 530).

[Illustration: FIG. 529.--Clay nucleus in base-mold, with beginning
               of spiral building.]

[Illustration: FIG. 530.--First form of vessel.]

The necks and apertures of these earliest forms of the water jar were
made very small in proportion to their other dimensions, presumably on
account of the necessity of often carrying them full of water over
steep and rough _mesa_ paths, coupled perhaps with the imitation of
other forms. To render them as light as possible they were also made
very thin. One of the consequences of all this was that when large
they could not be stroked inside, as the shoulders or uttermost upper
peripheries of the vessel could not be reached with the hand or
scraper through the small openings. The effect of the pressure exerted
in smoothing them on the outside, therefore, naturally caused the
upper parts to sink down, generating the spheroidal shape of the jar.
(see Fig. 531), one of the most beautiful types of the olla ever known
to the Pueblos. At Zuñi, wishing to have an ancient jar of this form
which I had seen, reproduced, I showed a drawing of it to a woman
expert in the manufacture of pottery. Without any instructions from me
beyond a mere statement of my wishes, she proceeded at once to
sprinkle the inside of a basket-bowl with sand, managing the clay in
a way above described and continuing the vessel-shaping upward by
spiral building. She did not at first make the shoulders low or
sloping, but rounded or arched them upward and outward (see again Fig.
529). At this I remonstrated, but she gave no heed other than to
ejaculate "_wá na ni, àná!_" which meant "just wait, will you!" When
she had finished the rim, she easily caused the shoulders to sink,
simply by stroking them--more where uneven than elsewhere--with a wet
scraper of gourd (see Fig. 532, _a_) until she had exactly reproduced
the form of the drawing. She then set the vessel aside _in_ the
basket. Within two days it shrank by drying at the rate of about one
inch in twelve, leaving the basket far too large. (See Fig. 533.) It
could hence be removed without the slightest difficulty.

[Illustration: FIG. 531.--Secondary form, in the mold.]

[Illustration: FIG. 532.--Scrapers of gourd and earthenware for
               smoothing pottery.]

[Illustration: FIG. 533.--Finished form of vessel in mold, showing
               amount of contraction in drying.]

The sand had prevented contact with the basket which would have caused
the clay vessel to crack as the latter was very thin. This process
exists in full force to-day with the Oraibes in the modeling of
convex-bottomed vessels, and the Zuñis thus make their large bowls and
huge drum-jars.

Upon the bottoms of many jars of these forms, I have observed the
impressions of the wicker bowls in which they had been molded--not
entirely to be removed, it seems, by the most assiduous smoothing
before burning; for, however smooth any exceptional specimen may
appear, a squeeze in plaster will still reveal traces of these

[Illustration: FIG. 534.--Profile of olla, or modern water-jug.]

A characteristic of these older forms of the water-jar is that they
are invariably flat or round-bottomed, while more recent and all
modern types of the olla (see Fig. 534) are concave or hollowed at the
base (see Fig. 535) to facilitate balancing on the head. Outside of
this concavity and entirely surrounding it (Fig. 536, _a_) is often to
be observed an indentation (see Fig. 536, _b_) usually slight although
sometimes pronounced.

[Illustration: FIG. 535.--Base of olla.]

[Illustration: FIG. 536.--Section of olla.]

[Illustration: FIG. 537.--Annular mat of wicker, or "milkmaid's boss."]

[Illustration: FIG. 538.--Use of annular mat illustrated.]

This has no use, but there is of course a reason for its occurrence
which, if investigated, may throw light on the origin of the modern
type of the olla itself. The older or round-bottomed jars were
balanced on the head in carrying, by means of a wicker-work ring, a
kind of "milk-maid's boss." (See Fig. 537.) These annular mats are
still found among the ruins and cave-deposits, and continue in use
with the modern Pueblos for supporting convex-bottom cooking pots on
the floor as well as for facilitating the balancing of large
food-bowls on the head. (See Fig. 538.) Obviously the latter dishes
have never been hollowed as the ollas have been, because, since they
were used as eating-bowls, the food could be removed from a plain
bottom more easily than from a convex surface, which would result from
the hollowing underneath. Supposing that a water-jar chanced to be
modeled in one of the convex-bottom bread-baskets (see Fig. 539), it
would become necessary, on account of the thickness of these wicker
bowls, to remove the form from the mold before it dried. By absorption
it would dry so rapidly that it would crack, especially in contracting
against the convexity in the center of the basket-bottom. (See Fig.
539, _a_.) In order that this form might be supported in an upright
position until dry, it would naturally be placed on one of the
wicker-rings. Moreover, that the bottom might not sink down or fall
out, a wad of some soft substance would be placed within the ring.
(See Fig. 540, _a_.) As a consequence the weight of the plastic vessel
would press the still soft bottom against the central wad, (Fig. 540,
_a_) and the wicker ring (Fig. 540, _c_) sufficiently to cause the
rounding upward of the cavity (Fig. 540, _b_) first made by the
convex-bottom of the basket-mold, as well as form the encircling
indentation (Fig. 540, _c_). Thus by accident, probably, only possibly
by intention, was evolved the most useful and distinctive feature of
the modern water-jar or olla, the _concave bottom_. This, once
produced, would be held to be peculiarly convenient, dispensing with
the use of a troublesome auxiliary. Its reproduction would present
grave difficulties unless the bottom of the first vessel, thickly
coated with sand to prevent cracking, was employed as a mold, instead
of the absorbent convex-centered basket-bowl.

[Illustration: FIG. 539.--Section of incipient vessel in basket-mold.]

[Illustration: FIG. 540.--Section of vessel supported for drying.]

I infer this because, to-day, a Zuñi woman is quite at a loss how to
hollow the bottom of a water-jar if she does not possess a form or
mold made from the base of some previously broken jar of the same
type. She therefore, carefully preserves these precious bottoms of her
broken ollas, even cementing together fractured ones, when not too
badly shivered, with a mixture of pitch or mineral asphaltum and sand.
I have seen as many as a dozen or more of these molds (see Fig. 541)
in a single store room.

[Illustration: FIG. 541.--Base-mold (bottom of water-jar).]

As the practice of molding all new vessels of this class in the
bottoms of older ones was general--I might say invariable--any
peculiarities of form in the originals must have been communicated to
those ensuing; from the latter to others, and so on, though in less
and less degree, to the present time. This theory is but tentative,
yet it would also explain, on the score of association, why the Pueblo
women slightly prefer the jars showing the indentation in question to
more regular ones. With the change from elevated cliff or _mesa_
habitations to more accessible ones, the Pueblo Indians were enabled
to enlarge the apertures of their water-jars, since not only did the
concave bases of the latter make the balancing of them more secure,
but the trails over which they had to be carried from watering place
to habitation were less rugged. A natural result of this enlargement
of the openings, which admitted access with the scraper to the
interior peripheries of the thin-walled jars, was the rounding upward
of their shoulders, making them taller in proportion to their
diameters. This modification of form in the water-jar, taken in
connection with the fact that thus changed, it displaced the daily use
of the canteen, explains the totally dissimilar names which were
applied to the two types. The older, or spheroidal olla, was known as
the _k‘iáp ton ne_, from _k‘ia pu_, to place or carry water in, and
_tóm me_; while the newer _olla_ is called _k‘iá wih na k‘ia té èle_,
from _k‘iá wih na ki‘a na ki‘a_, for bringing of water: _té_,
earthen-ware, and _ë´ le_ or _ë´l lai e_, to stand or standing. The
latter term, _té è le_, is generic, being applied to nearly all _terra
cotta_ vessels which are taller than they are broad. _Té_, earthen
ware, is derived from _t’eh´_, the root also of _té ne a_, to resound,
to sound hollow; while _é le_, from _ë´l le_ or _ël´ lai ê_, to stand,
is obviously applied in significance of comparative height as well as
of function.

Thus I have thrown together a few conjectures and suggestions relative
to the origin of the Southwestern pottery and the evolution of its
principal forms.


I might go on, appealing to language to account for nearly every
variety of pottery found existing as a _type_ throughout the region
referred to; but a subject inseparably connected with this, throwing
light on it in many ways, and possessing in itself great interest,
claims treatment on the few remaining pages of this essay. I refer to
the evolution and significance or symbolism of Pueblo ceramic

Before proceeding with this, however, I must acknowledge that I am as
much indebted to the teachings of Mr. E.B. Tylor, in his remarkable
works on Man's Early History and Primitive Culture, to Lubbock, Daniel
Wilson, Evans, and others, for the direction or _impetus_ of these
inquiries, as I am to my own observations and experiments for its

The line of gradual development in ceramic decorations, especially of
the symbolic element, treated as a subject, is wider in its
applicability to the study of primitive man, because more clearly
illustrative of the growth of culture. I regret, therefore, that it
must here be dealt with only in a most cursory manner. Large
collections for illustration would be essential to a fuller treatment,
even were space unlimited.

[Illustration: FIG. 542.--Example of Pueblo painted ornamentation.]

Decoratively, Pueblo pottery is characterized by two marked features:
angular designs predominate and ornamental effect depends as much on
the open or undecorated space as on the painted lines and areas in the
devices. (See Fig. 542.) While this is true of recent and modern
wares, it is more and more notably the case with other specimens in a
ratio increasing in proportion to their antiquity.

[Illustration: FIG. 543. & FIG. 544.--Amazonian basket decorations.]

We cannot explain these characteristics, and the conventional aspect
of the higher and symbolic Pueblo ceramic decorations which grew out
of them, in a better way than to suppose them, like the forms of this
pottery, to be the survivals of the influence of basketry. (See, for
comparison, Figs. 543, 544.) I shall be pardoned, therefore, for
elaborating suggestions already made in this direction, in the
paragraphs which treated of the ornamentation of spiral ware, and of
the derivation of basket decorations from stitch- and splint-suggested
figures. All students of early man understand his tendency to
reproduce habitual forms in accustomed association. This feeling,
exaggerated with savages by a belief in the actual relationship of
resemblance, is shown in the reproduction of the decorations of basket
vessels on the clay vessels made from them or in imitation of them.

In entire conformity with this, the succession in the methods of the
ornamentation of Pueblo pottery seems to have been first by incision
or indentation; then by relief; afterward by painting in black on a
natural or light surface; finally, by painting in color on a white or
colored surface.

As before suggested, the patterns on the coiled, regularly indented
pottery (which came to be first known to the world as a type, the
"corrugated," through the earlier explorations and reports of Mr.
William H. Holmes) were produced simply by emphasized indentation,
more rarely by incision, and were almost invariably angular,
reproducing exactly the designs on wicker work. Even in comparatively
recent examples of the corrugated ware this is true; for, once
connected with a type, a style of decoration, both seem to have been
ever after inseparable, with at most but slight modification of the
latter. One of these modifications, in both method and effect, was in
the adoption of the raised or relief style of ornamentation found,
with rare exceptions in the Southwest, only on corrugated ware, and on
the class which in modern times has replaced it there, vessels used in
cookery. Although never universal, this style deserves passing
attention as the outgrowth of an effort to attain the effect of
contrast produced by dyed or painted splints on wicked work before the
use of paint was known in connection with pottery. The same kind of
investigation indicates that the Pueblos largely owed their textile
industries and designs, as well as their potter's art, to the
necessity which gave rise to the making of water-tight basketry. The
terms connected with the rudimentary processes of weaving and
embroidery, and the principal patterns of both (on, for example,
blankets, kirtles, sacred girdles, and women's belts), are mostly
susceptible of interpretation, like the terms in pottery, as having a
meaning connected with the processes of basket plaiting and painting.
This renders the conventional character of Pueblo textile ornaments
easy of comprehension, as well, as the very early, if not the
earliest, origin of loom-weaving among our Indians in the desert
regions of America.

Henceforward, then, we have only to consider decoration by painting.
The probability is that this began as soon as the smooth surface in
pottery was generally made; evidence of which seemingly exists; as
eating bowls are, even to the present day, decorated principally on
the interior; not, as may be supposed, because the exterior is more
hidden from view, but because, as we have seen on a former page, bowls
were made plain inside before the corrugated type formed on basket
bottoms had been displaced by the smoothed type; and were naturally
first decorated there with paint. It must be constantly borne in mind
that a style of decoration once coupled with a kind of ware, or even a
portion of a vessel, retained its association permanently.

It must have been early observed that clay of one kind, applied even
thinly to the exterior of a vessel of another kind, produced, when
burned, a different color. With the discovery that clays of different
kinds burned in a variety of colors, to some extent irrespective of
the methods and the materials used in firing, there must likewise have
been hinted, we may safely conclude, the efficacy of clay washes as
paint, and of paint as a decorative agent.

Among the ceramic remains from the oldest pueblo sites of the
Southwest, pottery occurs, mostly in four varieties: the corrugated or
spiral; the plain, yet rough gray; white decorated with geometric
figures in black; and red, either plain or decorated with geometric
devices in black and white. The gray or dingy brown, rough variety,
resulted when a corrugated or coiled jar had been simply smoothed with
the fingers and scraper before it was fired. A step in advance, easily
and soon taken, was the additional smoothing of the vessel by slightly
wetting and rubbing its outer surface. Even this was productive only
of a moderately smooth surface, since, as learned by the Indian
potters long before, in their experience with the clay-plastered
parching-tray, it was necessary to mix the clay of vessels with a
tempering of sand, crushed potsherds, or the like, to prevent it from
cracking while drying; this, of course, no amount of rubbing would
remove. Hence, by another easy step, clay unmixed with a
grit-tempering, made into a thin paste with water, and thickly applied
to the half-dried jar with a dab or brash of soft fiber, gave a
beautifully smooth surface, especially if polished afterward by
rubbing with water-worn pebbles. The vessel thus prepared, when
burned, assumed invariably a creamy, pure white, red-brown or, other
color, according to the quality or kind of the clay used in making the
paste with which it had been smoothed or washed.

Thus was achieved the art of producing at will fictiles of different
colors, with which simple suggestion painting also became easy. Black,
aside from clay paste, was almost the first pigment discovered; quite
likely because the mineral blacks from iron ores, coal, and the
various rocks used universally among Indians for staining splints,
etc., would be the earliest tried, and then adopted, as they remained
unchanged by firing. Thus it came about, as evidenced by the sequence
of early remains in the Southwest, that the white and black varieties
of pottery were the first made, then the red and black, and later the
red with white and black decoration. Take, as an example, the latter.
Of course it was a simple mode to employ the red (ocherous) clay for
the wash, the blue clay (which burned white) for the white pigment in
making lines, and any of the black minerals above mentioned for other

In these earliest kinds of painted pottery the angular decorations of
the corrugated ware or of basketry were repeated, or at the farthest
only elaborated, although on some specimens the suggestions of the
curved ornament already occurred. These resulted, I may not fear to
claim, from carelessness or awkwardness in drawing, for instance, the
corners of acute angles, which, "cutting across-lot" would, it may be
seen, produce the wavy or meandering line from the zigzag, the
ellipsoid from the rectangle, and so on.

Precisely in accordance with this theory were the studies of my
preceptor, the lamented Prof. Charles Fred. Hartt. In a paper "On
Evolution in Ornament," published in several periodicals, among them
the Popular Science Monthly of January, 1875, this gifted naturalist
illustrated his studies by actual examples found on decorated burial
urns from Marajó Island. I must take the liberty of suggesting,
however, that upon some antecedent kind of vessel, the eyes of the
Amazonian Islanders may have been, to give Professor Hartt's idea,
"trained to take physiological and æsthetic delight in regularly
recurring lines and dots"; not on the pottery itself, as he seemed to
think, for decoration was old in basketry and the textiles when
pottery was first made.


[Illustration: FIG. 545.--Food-bowl.  FIG. 546.--Water-jar.
               (Showing open or joined space in line near rim.)]

On every class of food- and water-vessels, in collections of both
ancient and modern Pueblo pottery (except, it is important to note, on
pitchers and some sacred receptacles), it may be observed as a
singular, yet almost constant feature, that encircling lines, often
even ornamental zones, are left open or not as it were closed at the
ends. (See Figs. 545, _a_, 546, _a_.) This is clearly a conventional
quality and seemingly of intentional significance. An explanation must
be sought in various directions, and once found will be useful in
guiding to an understanding of the symbolic element in Pueblo ceramic
art. I asked the Indian women, when I saw them making these little
spaces with great care, why they took so much pains to leave them
open. They replied that to close them was _a´k ta ni_, "fearful!"--that
this little space through the line or zone on a vessel was the "exit
trail of life or being", _o´ ne yäthl kwái na_, and this was all. How
it came to be first left open and why regarded as the "exit trail,"
they could not tell. If one studies the mythology of this people and
their ways of thinking, then watches them closely, he will, however,
get other clews. When a woman has made a vessel, dried, polished, and
painted it, she will tell you with an air of relief that it is a "Made
Being." Her statement is confirmed as a sort of article of faith, when
you observe that as she places the vessel in the kiln, she also places
in and beside it food. Evidently she vaguely gives something about the
vessel a personal existence. The question arises how did these people
come to regard food-receptacles or water-receptacles as possessed of
or accompanied by conscious existences. I have found that the Zuñi
argues actual and essential relationship from similarity in the
appearance, function, or other attributes of even generically diverse

   [2] I would refer those, who may wish to find this characteristic
   more fully set forth, to the introductory pages of my essay on
   Zuñi Fetiches, published in the second volume of Contributions to
   North American Ethnology by the Bureau of Ethnology; also to a
   paper read before the American Academy of Sciences on the
   Relations to one another of the Zuñi Mythologic and Sociologic
   Systems, published, I regret to say, without my revision, in the
   Popular Science Monthly, for July, 1882.

I here allude to this mental bias because it has both influenced the
decoration of pottery and has been itself influenced by it. In the
first place, the noise made by a pot when struck or when simmering on
the fire is supposed to be the voice of its associated being. The
clang of a pot when it breaks or suddenly cracks in burning is the cry
of this being as it escapes or separates from the vessel. That it has
departed is argued from the fact that the vase when cracked or
fragmentary never resounds as it did when whole. This vague existence
never cries out violently unprovoked; but it is supposed to acquire
the power of doing so by imitation; hence, no one sings, whistles, or
makes other strange or musical sounds resembling those of earthenware
under the circumstances above described during the smoothing,
polishing, painting, or other processes of finishing. The being thus
incited, they think, would surely strive to come out, and would break
the vessel in so doing. In this we find a partial explanation of the
native belief that a pot is accompanied by a conscious existence. The
rest of the solution of this problem in belief is involved in the
native philosophy and worship of water. Water contains the source of
continued life. The vessel holds the water; the source of life
_accompanies_ the water, hence its dwelling place is in the vessel
with the water. Finally, the vessel is supposed to contain the
treasured source, irrespective of the water--as do wells and springs,
or even the places where they have been. If the encircling lines
inside of the eating bowl, _outside_ of the water jar, were closed,
there would be no exit trail for this invisible source of life or for
its influence or breath. Yet, why, it maybe asked, must the source of
life or its influence be provided with a trail by which to pass out
from the vessel? In reply to this I will submit two considerations. It
has been stated that on the earliest Southwestern potteries decoration
was effected by incised or raised ornamentation. Any one who has often
attempted to make vessels according to primitive methods as I have has
found how difficult it is to smoothly join a line incised around a
still soft clay pot, and that this difficulty is even greater when the
ornamental band is laid on in relief. It would be a natural outgrowth
of this predicament to leave the ends unjoined, which indeed the
savage often did. When paint instead of incision or relief came to be
the decorative agent, the lines or bands would be left unjoined in
imitation. As those acquainted with Tylor's "Early History" will
realize, and myth of observation like the above would come to be
assigned in after ages. This may or may not be true of the case in
question; for, as before observed, some classes of sacred receptacles,
as well as the most ancient painted bowls, are not characterized by
the unjoined lines. Whether true or not, it is an insufficient
solution of the problem.

[Illustration: FIG. 547.--Conical or flat-bellied canteen.]

It is natural for the Pueblo to consider water as the prime source of
life, or as accompanied by it, for without the presence of living
water very few things grow in his desert land. During many a drought
chronicled in his oral annals, plants, animals, and men have died as
of a contagious scourge. Naturally, therefore, he has come to regard
water as the milk of adults, to speak of it as such, and as the
all-sufficient nourishment which the earth (in his conception of it as
the mother of men) yields. In the times when his was a race of cliff
and mesa dwellers, the most common vessel appertaining to his daily
life was the flat-bellied canteen or water-carrier. (See Fig. 547.)
This was suspended by a band across the forehead, so as to hang
against the back, thus leaving the hands as well as the feet free for
assistance in climbing. It now survives only for use on long journeys
or at camps distant from water. The original suggestion of its form
seems to have been that of the human mammary gland, or perhaps its
peculiar form may have suggested a relationship between the two.
(Compare Figs. 548, 549.) At any rate, its name in Zuñi is _me´ he ton
ne_, while _me´ ha na_ is the name of the human mammary gland. _Me´ he
ton ne_ is from _me´ ha na_, mamma, _e´ ton nai e_, containing within,
and _to´m me_. From _me´ ha na_ comes _wo´ ha na_, hanging or placed
against anything, obviously because the mammaries hang or are placed
against the breast; or, possibly, _mé ha na_ may be derived from _wó
ha na_ by a reversal of reasoning, which view does not affect the
argument in question. It is probable that the _me´ he ton_ was at
first left open at the apex (Fig. 549._a_) instead of at the top (Fig.
549._b_); but, being found liable to leak when furnished with the
aperture so low, this was closed. A surviving superstition inclines me
to this view. When a Zuñi woman has completed the _me´ he ton_ nearly
to the apex, by the coiling-process, and before she has inserted the
nozzle (Fig. 549._b_), she prepares a little wedge of clay, and, as
she closes the apex with it, she turns her eyes away. If you ask her
why she does this, she will tell you that it is _a´k ta ni_ (fearful)
to look at the vessel while closing it at this point; that, if she
look at it during this operation, she will be liable to become barren;
or that, if children be born to her, they will die during infancy; or
that she maybe stricken with blindness; or those who drink from the
vessel will be afflicted with disease and wasting away! My impression
is that, reasoning from analogy (which with these people means actual
relationship or connection, it will be remembered), the Zuñi woman
supposes that by closing the apex of this _artificial_ mamma she
closes the exit-way for the "source of life;" further, that the woman
who closes this exit-way knowingly (in her own sight, that is)
voluntarily closes the exit-way for the source of life in her _own_
mammæ; further still, that for this reason the privilege of bearing
infants may be taken away from her, or at any rate (experience showing
the fallacy of this philosophy) she deserves the loss of the sense
(sight) which enabled her to "_knowingly_" close the exit-way of the
source of life.

[Illustration: FIG. 548.  FIG. 549.
               Conical canteen compared with human mammary gland.]

By that tenacity of conservative reasoning which is a marked mental
characteristic of the sedentary Pueblo, other types of the canteen, of
later origin, not only retained the name-root of this primeval form,
but also its attributed functions. For example, the _me´ wi k‘i lik
ton ne_ (See Fig. 550) is named thus from _me we_, mammaries, _i kí
lïk toì e´_, joined together by a neck, and _to´m me_.

Now, when closing the ends (Fig. 550, _c_, _c_) of this curious vessel
in molding it, the women are as careful to turn the eyes away as in
closing the apex of the older form. As the resemblance of either of
the ends of this vessel to the mamma is not striking, they place on
either side of the nozzle a pair of little conical projections,
resembling the teats, and so called. (Fig. 550, _b_.) There are four
of these, instead of, as we might reasonably expect, two. The reason
for this seems to be that the _me´ wi k’i lik ton ne_ is the canteen
designed for use by the hunter in preference to all other vessels,
because it may be easily wrapped in a blanket and tied to the back.
Other forms would not do, as the hunter must have the free use not
only of his hands but also of his head, that he may turn quickly this
way or that in looking for or watching game. The proper nourishment of
the hunter is the game he kills; hence, the source of his life, like
that of the young of this game, is symbolized in the canteen by the
mammaries, not of human beings, but of game-animals. A feature in
these canteens dependent upon all this brings us nearer to an
understanding of the question under discussion. When ornamental bands
are painted around either end of the neck of one of them (Fig. 550,
_b_), they are interrupted at the little projections (Fig. 550, _b,_).
Indeed, I have observed specimens on which these lines, if placed
farther out, were interrupted at the top (Fig. 550, _a a_) opposite
the little projections. So, by analogy, it would seem the Pueblos came
to regard paint, like clay, a barrier to the exit of the source of
life. This idea of the source of life once associated with the canteen
would readily become connected with the water-jar, which, if not the
offspring of the canteen, at least usurped its place in the household
economy of these people. From the water-jar it would pass naturally to
drinking-vessels and eating-bowls, explaining the absence of the
interrupted lines on the oldest of these and their constant occurrence
on recent and modern examples; for the painted lines being left open
at the apexes, or near the projections on the canteens, they should
also be unjoined on other vessels with which the same ideas were

[Illustration: FIG. 550.--Double lobed or hunter canteen.]

So, also, it will be observed that in paintings of animals there is
not only a line drawn from the mouth to the plainly depicted heart,
but a little space is left down the center or either side of this
line (see Figs. 551, 552), which is called the _o ne yäthl kwa´ to
na_, or the "entrance trail" (of the source or breath of life).

[Illustration: FIG. 551.--Painting of deer.]

[Illustration: FIG. 552.--Painting of sea-serpent.]

By this long and involved examination of _one_ element in the
symbolism of Pueblo ceramic decoration, we gain some idea how many
others not quite so striking, yet equally curious, grew up; how, also,
they might be explained. Their investigation, however, would be
attended with such intricate studies, involving so many subjects not
at sight related to the one in hand, that I must hasten to present two
other points.

Much wonder has been expressed that the Pueblos, so advanced in
pottery decoration, have not attempted more representations of natural
objects. There is less ground for this wonder than at first appears.
It should be remembered that the original angular models which the
Pueblo had, out of which to develop his art, bequeathed to him an
extremely conventional conception of things. This, added to his
peculiar way of interpreting relationship and personifying phenomena
and even functions, has resulted in making his depictions obscure. In
point of fact, in the decoration of certain classes of his pottery he
has attempted the reproduction of almost everything and of every
phenomenon in nature held as sacred or mysterious by him. On certain
other classes he has developed, imitatively, many typical decorations
which now have no special symbolism, but which once had definite
significance; and, finally, he has sometimes relegated definite
meanings to designs which at first had no significance, except as
decorative agents, after ward using them according to this
interpretation in his attempts to delineate natural objects, their
phenomena, and functions. I will illustrate by examples, the last
point first.

[Illustration: FIG. 553.--The fret of basket decoration.]

[Illustration: FIG. 554.--The fret of pottery decoration.]

[Illustration: FIG. 555.--Scroll as evolved from fret in pottery

Going back to basketry, we find already the fully developed fret. (See
Fig. 553.) I doubt not that from this was evolved, in accordance with
Professor Hartt's theory, the scroll or volute as it appears later on
pottery. (See Figs. 554, 555.) To both of these designs, and
modifications of them ages later, the Pueblo has attached meanings.
Those who have visited the Southwest and ridden over the wide, barren
plains, during late autumn or early spring, have been astonished to
find traced on the sand by no visible agency, perfect concentric
circles and scrolls or volutes yards long and as regular as though
drawn by a skilled artist. The circles are made by the wind driving
partly broken weed-stalks around and around their places of
attachment, until the fibers by which they are anchored sever and the
stalks are blown away. The volutes are formed by the stems of red-top
grass and of a round-topped variety of the _chenopodium_, drifted
onward by the whirlwind yet around and around their bushy adhesive
tops. The Pueblos, observing these marks, especially that they are
abundant after a wind storm, have wondered at their similarity to the
painted scrolls on the pottery of their ancestors. Even to-day they
believe the sand marks to be the tracks of the whirlwind, which is a
God in their mythology of such distinctive personality that the
circling eagle is supposed to be related to him. They have naturally,
therefore, explained the analogy above noted by the inference that
their ancestors, in painting the volute, had intended to symbolize the
whirlwind by representing his tracks. Thenceforward the scroll was
drawn on certain classes of pottery to represent the whirlwind,
modifications of it (for instance, by the color-sign belonging to any
one of the "six regions") to signify other personified winds. So,
also, the semicircle is classed as emblematic of the rainbow (_a´ mi
to lan ne_); the obtuse angle, as of the sky (_a´ po yan ne_); the
zigzag line as lightning (_wi´ lo lo an ne_); terraces as the sky
horizons (_a´wi thlui a we_), and modifications of the latter as the
mythic "ancient sacred place of the spaces" (_Te´ thlä shi na kwïn_),
and so on.

[Illustration: FIG. 556.--Ancient Pueblo "medicine-jar."]

By combining several of these elementary symbols in a single device,
sometimes a mythic idea was beautifully expressed. Take, as an
example, the rain totem adopted by the late Lewis H. Morgan as a title
illumination, from Maj. J.W. Powell, who received it from the Moki.
Pueblos of Arizona as a token of his induction into the rain gens of
that people. (See Fig. 557, _a_.) An earlier and simpler form of this
occurs on a very ancient "sacred medicine jar" which I found in the
Southwest. (See Fig. 556.) By reference to an enlarged drawing of the
chief decoration of this jar (see Fig. 557), it may be seen that the
sky, _a_, the ancient place of the spaces (region of the sky gods),
_b_, the cloud lines, _c_, and the falling rain, _d_, are combined and
depicted to symbolize the storm, which was the objective of the
exhortations, rituals, and ceremonials to which the jar was an

[Illustration:     _a._ Modern Moki rain symbol.
                   _b._ Enlarged decoration of "medicine-jar."
               FIG. 557.--Decoration of ancient medicine-jar compared
               with rain symbol of modern Moki totem.]

Thus, upon all sacred vessels, from the drums of the esoteric medicine
societies of the priesthood and all vases pertaining to them to the
keramic appurtenances of the sacred dance or _Kâ´ kâ_, all decorations
were intentionally emblematic. Of this numerous class of vessels, I
will choose but one for illustration--the prayer-meal-bowl of the _Kâ´
kâ_. In this, both form and ornamentation are significant. (See Fig.
558.) In explaining how the form of this vessel is held to be symbolic
I will quote a passage from the "creation myth" as I rendered it in an
article on the origin of corn, belonging to a series on "Zuñi
Breadstuff," published this year in the "Millstone" of Indianapolis,
Indiana. "Is not the bowl the emblem of the earth, our mother? For
from her we draw both food and drink, as a babe draws nourishment from
the breast of its mother; and round, as is the rim of a bowl, so is
the horizon, terraced with mountains whence rise the clouds." This
alludes to a medicine bowl, not to one of the handled kind, but I will
apply it as far as it goes to the latter. The two terraces on either
side of the handle (Fig. 558, _a a_) are in representation of the
"ancient sacred place of the spaces," the handle being the line of the
sky, and sometimes painted with the rainbow figure. Now the
decorations are a trifle more complex. We may readily perceive that
they represent tadpoles (Fig. 558, _b b_), dragonflies (Fig: 558, _c
c_), with also the frog or toad (Fig. 558); all this is of easy
interpretation. As the tadpole frequents the pools of spring time he
has been adopted as the symbol of spring rains; the dragon-fly hovers
over pools in summer, hence typifies the rains of summer; and the
frog, maturing in them later, symbolizes the rains of the later
seasons; for all these pools are due to rain fall. When, sometimes,
the figure of the sacred butterfly (see Fig. 559, _a b_) replaces that
of the dragon-fly, or alternates with it, it symbolizes the
beneficence of summer; since, by a reverse order of reasoning, the
Zuñis think that the butterflies and migratory birds (see Fig. 560)
_bring_ the warm season from the "Land of everlasting summer."

[Illustration: FIG. 558.--Zuñi prayer-meal-bowl.]

Upon vessels of special function, like these we have just noticed,
peculiar figures may be regarded as emblematic; on other classes, no
matter how evidently conventional and expressive decorations may seem,
excepting always, totemic designs, it is wise to use great caution in
their interpretation as intentional and not merely imitative.

A general examination, even of the most modern of Pueblo pottery,
shows us that certain types of decoration have once been confined to
certain types of vessels, all which has its due signification but an
examination of which would properly form the subject of another essay.

[Illustration: FIG. 559.--Paintings of sacred butterfly.]

[Illustration: FIG. 560.--Painting of "summer-bird."]

Happily, a work collateral to the one which I have here merely begun,
will, I have reason to hope, be carried to a high degree of perfection
in the forthcoming monographs on the exhaustless ceramic collections
of the United States National Museum by Mr. William H. Holmes. This
author and artist will approach his task from a standpoint differing
from mine, reaching thereby, it may be, conclusions at variance with
the foregoing; but by means of his wealth of material and illustration
students will have opportunity of passing a judgment upon the merits
of not only his work, but of my own.

[Illustration: FIG. 561.--Rectangular type of earthen vessel.]

In conclusion, let me very briefly refer to two distinctive American
types of pottery, unconnected with the Southwestern, which,
considered in conjunction with those of the latter region, seem to
me to indicate that the ceramic art has had independent centers of
origin in America. For the sake of convenience, I may name these types
the rectangular (see Fig. 561) or Iroquois, and the bisymmetrical or
kidney-shaped (see Fig. 562), of Nicaragua. The one is almost constant
in the lake regions of the United States, the other equally constant
in sections of Central America. In collections gathered from any tribe
of our Algonquin or Iroquois Indians, one may observe vessels of the
tough birch- or linden-bark, some of which are spherical or
hemispherical. To produce this form of utensil from a single piece of
bark, it is necessary to cut pieces out of the margin and fold it.
Each fold, when stitched together in the shaping of the vessel, forms
a corner at the upper part. (See Fig. 563.) These corners and the
borders which they form are decorated with short lines and
combinations of lines, composed of coarse embroideries with dyed
porcupine quills. (See Fig. 564) May not the bark vessel have given
rise to the rectangular type of pottery and its quill ornamentation to
the incised straight-line decorations? (Compare Fig. 561.)

[Illustration: FIG. 562.--Kidney-shaped vessel, Nicaragua.]

[Illustration: FIG. 563.--Iroquois bark-vessel.]

So, too, in the unsymmetrical urns of Central and Isthmean America,
which are characterized by the location of the aperture at the upper
part of one of the extremities and by streak-like decorations, we
have a decided suggestion of the animal paunch or bladder and of the
visible veins on its surface when distended.

[Illustration: FIG. 564.--Porcupine quill decoration.]

If these conjectures be accepted as approximately correct, even in
tendency, we may hope by a patient study of the ceramic remains of a
people, no matter where situated, to discover what was the type of
their pre-ceramic vessels, and thereby we might also learn whether, at
the time of the origin of the potter's art or during its development,
they had, like the Pueblos, been indigenous to the areas in which they
were found, or whether they had, like some of the Central Americans,
(to make a concrete example and judge it by this method) apparently
immigrated in part from desert North America, in part from the
wilderness of an equatorial region in South America.

       *       *       *       *       *


Awatui pottery                                                     493

Basketry anticipated pottery                                   483-485
Basketry cooking utensils                                      484-486
Basketry copied in pottery                                         449
Basketry declined, Manufacture of watertight                       496
Boiling basket                                                     485
Burning influence pottery, Materials and methods used in      495, 496

Cane tubes to carry water                                          482
Cliff-dwellings                                           478, 479-480
Coal used in pottery firing, Mineral                           495-496
Coiled pottery, how made                                           500
Communal Pueblos                                              480, 481

Environments affecting habitations                                 473
Environments affecting pottery                                     482

Flat and terraced roofs                                            477
Form evolved in pottery from basketry                              497
Fuel used in pottery firing                                        495

Gourd vessels to carry water                                  482, 483

Habitations affected by environment                                473
Hogan, or hut, Navajo                                              473
Houses built near water, Pueblo                                    477

Lava inclosure earliest form of Navajo hut                         475
Linguistic indications as to habitations                           474
Linguistic indications as to primitive water vessels               482

Mindeleff, Victor, on development of rectangular architecture      475
Minerals influencing pottery                                       493
Mode of making pottery vessels                                 499-500
Moki pottery                                                       493

Navajo hogan, or hut                                               473

Ojo Caliente pottery                                               491
Ollas                                                         498, 500
Ornament, Ceramic                                                  488
Ornamentation of coiled basketry                                   487

Pescado pottery                                                    494
Pottery affected by environment                                    482
Pottery anticipated by basketry                                483-485
Pottery declined in quality with introduction of domestic animals  496
Pottery developed from basketry                                    485
Pueblo primitive habitations                                       475
Pueblos, Communal                                             480, 481

Rectangular forms developed from circular in architecture          475
Roasting tray                                                      484

Stories added in cliff-buildings                                   479

Tusayan, Province of                                               493

Water important to Pueblos, Transportation and preservation of     482
Wicker cover for gourd vessels                                     483

Zuñi priests' journey to the Atlantic                              483
Zuñi skill on water jars                                      498, 500

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Study of Pueblo Pottery as Illustrative of Zuñi Culture Growth. - Fourth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1882-83, Government Printing Office, Washington, 1886, pages 467-522" ***

Copyright 2023 LibraryBlog. All rights reserved.