© 2010-2024 by Fine Arts of the Southwest, Inc. All rights reserved.
Unauthorized reproduction or use is strictly prohibited by law.
An incredible contemporary Hopi
miniature pottery dish by Camille Quotskuyva (Hisi) Nampeyo, c. 2000’s
Hisi Nampeyo's Family Lineage
Above, Nampeyo at right with her mother, White Corn at center and eldest daughter Annie holding granddaughter Rachel at left, c. 1905.
Below at left, Rachel Namingha Nampeyo, at center, Rachel's daughter Dextra Quotsukya Nampeyo, at right, Dextra's daughter,
Camille Quotsukya (Hisi) Nampeyo, c. 1990's.
Below photos source and © "Fourteen Families in Pueblo Pottery" by Rick Dillingham, University of New Mexico Press, 1994.
This magnificent little pottery jewel comes from the fertile imagination and highly-skilled hands of one of the latest in a long line of Nampeyo family master potters, Hisi Nampeyo (b. 1964), daughter of the renowned potter, Dextra Quostkyuva Nampeyo (1928-2019) and great-great Grand-Daughter of great Hopi pottery Matriarch, Nampeyo of Hano (1859-1942).
It’s frankly difficult to believe anyone can paint this precisely and perfectly yet alone using a handmade yucca fiber brush on a “canvas” so small. The design is exquisitely rendered in an elaborate six-pointed “star” with complementary checkerboard motifs. Paired symmetrically-opposed sets of designs are a Nampeyo family design characteristic dating back to Nampeyo’s artistic adaptations of ancient Hopi Sikytaki-Period (1375-1625 A.D.) pottery design motifs. In keeping with the best Nampeyo Family tradition, the vessel is superbly formed, perfectly painted and stone-polished and beautifully fired most likely using high temperature burning lignite coal.
Interestingly, the design is rendered in black paint only on a creamy yellow ground. There is no red paint; this too is
a bit of a shout-out to ancient Hopi pottery traditions of black-on-yellow and black-on-white pottery. There is also a bit
of tradition involved in the making of Hopi miniature pottery pieces in the Nampeyo family, Nampeyo made them, Hisi’s Grandmother Rachel Namingha Nampeyo made them and Hisi’s Mother, Dextra made quite a few of them.
The round dish measures a diminutive 3 1/4" in diameter and is 1/2" in height. It is in excellentoriginal condition
with the tiniest amount of abrasion to the interior painted design. It is properly signed “Hisi” along with her
Corn Clan corn ear insignia on the bottom.
This piece might be tiny, but it makes a monumental impression. If you didn’t know how big it was by comparison as shown below, you would never be able to tell just by looking at it. Inch for inch, it’s an extraordinary masterpiece with a magnificent artistic presence and power. We can only imagine that Matriarch Nampeyo would be extremely proud of her distinguished modern-day descendant.