Helen Naha "Featherwoman" Pot
Helen Naha lived from 1922 to 1993. She was born a Hopi-Tewa in Hano on First Mesa and lived most of her life in the Hano-Polacca-Keams Canyon area. Her Tewa ancestors had migrated to the Hopi mesas after the 1680 Pueblo Revolt sent the Spanish running from northern Nuevo Mexico. Her ancestors were probably recruited by the Hopis to protect them should the Spanish ever come back. Instead, the Tewa warriors fought off Ute, Navajo and Apache raiders until the Hopis asked them to build their own village and stay. Since that time, intermarriage between the two groups has produced today's Hopi, Hopi-Tewa and Tewa, the classification depending on one's ancestry.
Helen began making pottery when she was in her late teens and continued making pottery almost to the day she died. Her mother-in-law was Paqua Naha (also known as First Frog Woman) and her sister-in-law was Joy Navasie (Second Frog Woman)Joy Navasie (Second Frog Woman).
Helen said she was mainly a self-taught potter but she did glean a few tips from watching her in-laws make pottery. In the beginning of her career she was mostly using what she learned from Joy Navasie and copying Sikyátki Revival styles and designs. But she was never happy with that. She didn't come into her own until she began developing her own whiteware styles, decorating them with designs she developed on her own based on pot shards she found in the ruins of Awatovi (an ancient abandoned village of Towa-speaking people located near First Mesa).
Helen was known for producing jars, wedding vases, bowls, vases, cylinders, miniatures and tiles. Over the period of her lifetime she almost singlehandedly revived designs such as the Awatovi star and bat wing patterns. She also had a fondness for feather, water, spiral, Nachwach-clan handshake, Anasazi black on white, sun, rain and connected scroll designs.
Early in her career Helen produced a lot of stark black-on-white Hopi pottery but later in life she crafted significantly more polychrome pieces.
Dimensions: 3.5"H x 5"W
1) Do not expose pottery to water inside or out.
2) Do not wipe with a damp cloth.
3) Dust pottery only with a soft cloth (not terry cloth or textured fabric).
4) Always use two hands to carry your pot: one on top and one on the bottom.
5) Do not grip or lift pots by the rim.
6) Place a piece of cloth or felt between pot and shelf to protect signature.
7) Avoid exposing pottery to sudden temperature changes.