Rachel is the great-great-grandaughter of the famed Nampeyo of Hano, “the greatest Hopi potter who ever lived”.
Much like Maria Martinez, who revived and celebrated the black pottery of her San Ildefonso Pueblo, Nampeyo revived ancient Sikyatki styles of Hopi pottery.
Rachel, her great-grandmother, Annie Healing Nampeyo, and mother Priscilla Namingha Nampeyo, are all celebrated for their prize-winning pieces.
Rachel specializes in the ancient pottery styles and forms.
This splendid canteen is modeled after the ones that were taken to the fields, in bygone days.
The decoration is a mixture of different shapes, the use of only three colors creating a dynamic and vivid pattern that is somehow both eye-catching and subtle.
The canteen is unusually bulbous, it’s round body contrasting with the thin neck.
On either side of the neck, there are two small eyes for the braided twine to be tied to, and the back has a small, flat area where the canteen can rest laying down (although it doesn’t rest on this spot against the wall when hanging.)
From gathering the clay, coiling the form, painting with clay slips, to firing in the ground, this is entirely traditional in execution, as well as decoration.
This is an unusual form – a re-creation of a traditional pottery piece originally meant to have utilitarian value.
Created by this famous member of a legendary family of Hopi potters, this canteen is extra-special.
Originally meant to be strung across the body of the farmer, you can hang it proudly on your wall, or display it on a shelf, table, or mantel.
Of course, it is NOT meant to hold water!
Just admire the creativity, artistry, and celebrated, multi-generational skill involved in this handsome canteen.