There is nothing like authentic Indian pottery, like that made by the Tarahumara and Tigua Indian Tribes, to create a look of true southwest authenticity in your home. The rough clay is not only very durable but is also what gives the pottery that popular rustic charm. The way of making this natural pottery has been taught to each generation and is still made today as it has been for centuries. If you are like me and enjoy Native American pottery, you will definitely like holding a piece of this exquisite art in your hands, and consider the work involved in making such unique pottery.
If you are thinking about collecting Indian pottery, you will find many varieties and might even discover some that you never knew about. From rustic style pieces of Tarahumara pottery with dark earth tone colors to exquisitely painted art pieces, painted by the Tigua Indians, you will definitely not have a problem deciding on something you like. The various types of pottery are thrilling for collectors because there is so much available. The most interesting part of purchasing authentic Native Indian pottery is the knowledge that it has always been part of Indian life. Recently, there has been a renewed interest in pottery collecting because of the rebirth of traditional Mata Ortiz pottery found in the Casas Grandes region of Chihuahua, in the northern state of Mexico.
Many pieces of Indian pottery can be used for both collection and cooking purposes. Many of the Tarahumara pots or ollas as they are known as, are used to prepare beans, corn and other traditional Native American food. The pots are made to be simple and functional and are designed in various sizes and shapes that define how the pot will be used. No matter which type of pottery you decide on, whether to be used for cooking or just decorative purposes, you will no doubt appreciate all the work involved in making Indian pottery.
You will find pottery making very fascinating. Made by hand, the potter uses the coil and pinch method without the use of a pottery wheel. The potter starts his project by first finding the clay and then grinding it to a fine powder using a stone metate. Water is then mixed with the clay powder and brought to the necessary consistency. A piece is made for the base of the pot and then clay coils are molded together to build up the sides. The instruments the Tarahumaras use to smooth the pot and scrape away roughness are nothing more than pieces of gourd, stone or wood. They then heat the pot in a shallow hole after it has had time to dry in the open air. It is then painted with various items like a feather, the fingers or a cloth-wrapped stick and natural paints like red ochre, iron oxide or hematite.
Owning Native American pottery, whether a rustic style Tarahumara pot, a beautifully painted piece by the Tigua Indian Tribe, or refined artwork like Mata Ortiz, is truly a great privilege and enables you to experience Native traditions and customs in the most authentic way. You can buy beautiful Indian pottery online, and in pottery shops and many stores that sell southwestern decor and accessories. If you would like to be part of the exciting rebirth of Indian pottery collecting and add Native American style to your decor, try decorating with authentic pieces of handmade Indian pottery.
Craig Chambers is the director of Mission Del Rey and offers free information online about choosing Indian pottery for rustic style decorating.