About this artwork
Native American artists have produced miniature vessels for more than a thousand years. Here, Delores Juanico has created a reduced-scale version of a type of water jar first made in her community in the late 1800s, such as the one exhibited beside it. Acoma is perched on top of a tall mesa near Albuquerque and this art form is integrally tied to the land. As Juanico recounts:
“I used our traditional clay, mined here on our pueblo in small chunks, which we hike a distance for on foot because there is no road. My miniatures are pinch pots, meaning I use my fingers to pinch out the shape of the
pot. I then use a piece of dried gourd and wooden tools to shape it further. Like all Acoma water jars, the design has four sides, comprised of parrots and the crops that came through so beautifully. This parrot design is traditionally painted by Acoma women who wished for something or were blessed to see their prayers answered. The dark-brown slip is made of ground hematite rock mixed with water and wild spinach, and symbolizes clouds and rain. The red is made from other minerals in the sand from around Acoma, and represents the sun.
“Water jars are extremely important for us because Acoma does not have running water. We still do dry farming today, relying on the Creator to nourish the people, land, and domestic and wild animals.”
- Delores Juanico
- Pueblo of Acoma
- Prayers Answered
- New Mexico (Object made in), United States (Object made in), Pueblo of Acoma (Object made in)
- Clay, minerals, and wild spinach (Cleome serrulata)
- D. Juanico 1900 Acoma N.M.
- 3.8 × 5.1 cm (1 1/2 × 2 in.)
- Mrs. Leonard S. Florsheim, Jr. Fund