This lidded olla is a throwback to the time when Apaches and other northern New Mexico tribes utilized the superior strength and heat resistance of micaceous clay for utilitarian purposes.
Perfectly smooth, the globular form allows the glittering mica to shine to advantage.
There is no need for other embellishment when the medium itself sparkles so.
The only decoration is in the half-star shape of the finial on the lid, which is equally well-formed.
Nowadays, this handsome pottery is valued for its beauty alone; we haven’t had the nerve to test its cooking ability!
This beautifully formed, perfectly smooth, lidded bowl might hold any number of different things: sewing items, mail, stamps, fruit, etc.