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Using Indian Pottery For Collection And Home Decorating

Jun 25, 2008
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 characteristic primitive look.

The way of making this natural pottery has been passed down throughout the generations and is still made today as it has been for hundreds of years. If you are like me and enjoy Native American pottery, you will definitely be excited to hold a piece of this exquisite art in your hands, and consider the work that goes into crafting such beautiful pottery.

If you like collecting Indian pottery, you will find many types and might even discover a few that you never knew about. From primitive style pieces of dark earth-tone pottery to intricately detailed art pieces, painted by the Tigua Indians, you will definitely not have trouble finding something you like.

The various types of pottery are exciting for collectors because there is so much to choose from. The most exciting part of buying real Native Indian pottery is the fact that it has always been part of Indian life. In recent years, pottery collecting has seen a renewed interest because of the revival of traditional Mata Ortiz pottery found in the northern state of Chihuahua, Mexico.

Many pieces of Indian pottery can be used not only as collection pieces but also for traditional cooking purposes as well. Many of the Tarahumara pots or ollas as they are known as, are used to cook simple meals that consist mainly of beans and corn accompanied by hand-made tortillas.

The ollas are designed simply for use and come in different sizes and shapes that determine how the pot will be used. No matter which kind of pottery you choose, whether for cooking or decorative purposes, you will certainly appreciate the hard work that goes into making Indian pottery.

You will find pottery making very intriguing. Hand-crafted by the potter, the traditional coil and pinch method is used instead of the pottery wheel. The first step with any Native American pottery making is to gather the clay which is then ground on a stone metate to create a fine clay powder. Water is then added to the clay powder and brought to the desired thickness. A piece is cut for the base of the pot and then clay coils are used 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. The fired pot is then painted using various items like a feather, the fingers or a cloth-wrapped stick and a variety of paints like red ochre, iron oxide or hematite.

Owning Indian pottery, whether a rustic style Tarahumara pot, a brilliantly painted piece by the Tigua Indians, or elegant artwork like Mata Ortiz, is certainly a great privilege and lets you experience Native American traditions and customs in the most authentic way.

You can buy southwest style Indian pottery online, and in pottery shops and many stores that sell southwestern decorating accessories. If you want to be part of the age-old art form of Indian pottery and bring American Indian design to your home, try decorating with beautiful pieces of hand-crafted Indian pottery.
About the Author
Craig Chambers is the director of Mission Del Rey and offers free information online about Indian pottery for collection and home decorating. For more information visit http://www.missiondelrey.com
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