Hopi Parrot Jar

Donna Navasie Robertson


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This granddaughter of Joy Navasie (second Frog Woman, Yellow Flower) and daughter of Marianne Navasie, belongs to a renowned Hopi-Tewa family of exceptional potters.

Here is a splendidly formed jar that exudes personality. Completely traditional: finding and digging the clay, coiling, smoothing, burnishing, painting the designs with natural pigments, and firing in the ground, all by hand.

The design is a version of the Hopi parrot motif. Painted in a bold scale, with dramatic motion and colors, the pot nevertheless remains tranquil, thanks to the large areas of empty space.

The pinkish-honey hue of the native clay is a gentle foil for the vigorous shapes, painted in robust, rich colors which are also natural.

Wind, plants, and feathers are depicted in traditionally abstract ways.

Solid areas of mahogany red and darkest brown share the clay “canvas” with stippled accents and slender, angular lines.

These are placed within generally curved shapes, which emphasize the opulent curves of the jar.

Both serene and dramatic, this jar has an assertive, but elegant, presence.

It is a lovely expression of the continuity of Hopi pottery tradition, by a notable family’s younger generation.

NOTE: the shape is called a jar, but NEVER put water in it!


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