Cherished One

Limited Edition Prints on Canvas

30″ x 24″ | $420
48″ x 36″ | $810

Held securely in the arms of a cherished young pueblo girl is a well-worn and well-loved Santo Domingo storage jar from the early 1900’s.  Strengthened with rawhide thongs used to lessen the risk of breaking, such beautiful pieces of pottery have been utilized by the pueblo people since prehistoric times to store and cook their precious crops and were therefore an important and necessary item in any pueblo household. 

     A tradition as ancient as that of pottery making is weaving and other textile fabrications.  Prehistoric cave sites show that garments of cotton were quite common in both Arizona and New Mexico. Today these embroidered cotton clothes are reserved for ceremonial occasions.  This dress or manta worn over one shoulder is an article of clothing more often seen as a man’s ceremonial kilt, being worn by many kachina impersonators and other male dancers.  None the less, these types of kilts are also worn by women in the over-the-shoulder fashion for certain rituals.  Originally Hopi in design and make, similar kilts are frequently seen in the ceremonies of many other pueblo communities.  Indeed, this actual kilt was produced by award winning embroiderer Isabel Gonzales from San Ildefonso Pueblo and is part of the artist’s collection. 

     The most cherished of all things in an arid climate is, of course, rain.  It is therefore no surprise that the designs decorating the sides of the kilt are not only beautiful they are, taken all together, a prayer for rain.  The stepped pyramid figures represent clouds; the zigzag lines are lightening; while the series of straight vertical stripes below the clouds symbolizes the rain.  Alternating red and white stripes are said to portray the sun shining red through the morning rain, while black and white lines represent the rainbow. 

     Pottery, textiles, children, and rain…such are the ancient, the sacred, and the cherished ones to the pueblo people.