Acoma Pueblo

"Old Acoma is on a steep-sided, waterless, sandstone outcrop about 400 feet above the desert floor. Until about 1960, most of its household water was brought to the top in pottery jars from a spring at the foot of the mesa using an ancient stone staircase, and Acoma became known for its strong, thin, water vessels made with a local white clay. 18th century jars were bulbous, neckless, and had low centers of gravity, a form replaced by about 1850 with modern high shouldered shpaes with short, sloping necks, high centers of gravity, small-bases, and smoothly expanding conical forms.

Until the early 20th century, Acoma and Laguna pottery painting styles were almost identical, Laguna using broader lines and preferring darker effects. Jar paintings usually treated the upper shoulder and neck as separate design zones and the vessel bodies as a large white field in which large, curvilinear or angular motifs simultaneously subdivided and unified the picutre space into complex, integrated patterns. Motifs are often-large scale, outlined in fine, mineral-paint brush work, and filled with hachured lines or blocks of warm browns or yellows. Ancient designs, first revived in the 18th century, were integrated in the 19th with European inspired folk motifs modified by Pueblo iconographic elements."

-J.J. Brody, Voices in Clay: Pueblo Pottery from the Edna M. Kelly Collection