Deeply immersed in traditional Hopi lore through his father, who was a ceremonial leader and kachina carver, Lawrence Namoki taught himself pottery and has become a much-honored and highly collected artist.
His style is immediately recognizable for the combinations of carving, painting, and always, traditional Hopi subject matter.
This piece features Crow Mother, who appears during the Powamu, or Bean, ceremony that heralds the start of the planting season.
The shape is that of a robust seed pot, but this is meant as an art object, since the hole is at the bottom, where seeds would fall out.
Carved and emphatically colored, Crow Mother is shown with an arm extending from her shawl, holding the offerings of beans, corn, etc. that symbolize the hope for a bountiful harvest to come.
Her winged headdress is decorated with rain signs. She melds into a partially seen Sunface kachina.
Notice how the stripes of her shawl morph into the stripes on the forehead of the Sunface and are also echoed in the brown and white border of his rays.
These are not just rays, but stylized eagle feathers to carry prayers for sun and rain, in balance, to the heavens.
The other side of the piece is burnished with a light wood-like texture – another characteristic of this artist’s work.
Painted on the surface are petroglyph symbols: a Kokopelli, blowing seeds into the earth, spirals of water, a dotted zig-zag symbolizing rain and raindrops, and two humanoid figures.
Boldly colored and decorated, this handsome piece is impeccably made, beautifully designed, and highy collectible.