Navajo Horse Hair Pottery - Kokopelli


The reason why my family is so well known is because they mastered three different styles of pottery and now mix it into one piece. The three stages of making these pots are horsehair, hand painting and hand etching. Before beginning any of these processes we must first create the pot. We hand pour each pot three times. The pot is poured with Red clay from rocks just like the Red Rocks in Sedona but it's from the Navajo Nation. Pouring it three times making it durable. Next we bake it. We bake all our pots in an open fire pit. The newest concept we have created, is placing horsehair onto the pot. When the horse hair touches the red flaming pot it singes right on. This immediately turns the white pot into a one of a kind piece. All the black lines create a marble look. All the black hair you see throughout all the pot, underneath the paints and etching, are actual horse hair. We polish it with animal (elk) fur just enough so you can still feel the horse hair on top. The hair polished with the fur gives the pot an amazing texture. Forth, we paint it. Though we are known for our exquisite color concepts, we took a different approach this year by adding no color and emphasizing more on the horsehair and hand etching to create a minimalist design. Last we etch. The quality of Navajo Pottery is based on precision and detail. Our etching is done with a fine needlepoint. When you look closely at etchings you can actually see the fines lines created in every stroke. All our pots take 8-10 hours to create. But this process has been mastered and improved over the last 40 years.

Our pots are awe-inspiring and combine Kokopelli. The Kokopelli is a rain god in the Navajo Culture. He is a humpback flute player. The rain cloud follows him everywhere he goes. So when he comes to town the community rejoice, knowing there will be wealth in crops and water. In other olden stories he is also known as a ladies man. So when he leaves all the woman are pregnant. The Kokopelli is a strong symbol increasing wealth and fertility.

Furthermore, there is no mass production in our work but the pots with animals are extra one of kind pieces. My aunt, Mabelline Grey learned potting from her mom who learned from our grandma. Horse hair is a newer concept we have only been doing for the last 5 years but has taken our pots to the next level. The colors and etching speak for itself as well. Every pot comes with a brochure that fully explains where we are from, how we make it and what the medicine symbols. My favorite are the prayer feathers which promote healing and good blessing in your home. The staircase of life represents the highs and lows of life. Reminding us that you can't always be happy or sad but life is journey and is different every day. The spiral increases spiritual growth and represent the whirlwind. Taking the old and replacing it with the new each day. Our story teller pots comes with 10 extra stories, depicting every animal story etched onto it.

Last but not least we just created a video of us making us making the post. It is available on our website. the password for the video is "Friends". Feel free to watch us create our pottery from start to finish.

Christmas is coming up. Buy yourself something sweet for the holiday. Navajo Secrets is Navajo owned and operated. All our items are Native handmade and created on the Navajo Nation.

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