Thursday, July 17, 2014

Mimbres Pottery from the Thomas W. Weisel Family Collection of Native American Art

The Weisel Family exhibit of Native American Art, currently a second floor corner of the deYoung (easily missed)  includes pottery from the culture in the Mimbres Valley from what the area of Mexico that  is now southwestern New Mexico; it created a millennium of pottery, but the drought forced the ancient culture to disperse, as with many ancient cultures in that part of the world.  (I cannot help thinking how drought in the U.S. Southwest also forced mass relocation.)  

 Their pottery went through a change from 750 to 1150 CE, as shown here.  The pots were often placed over the face of the deceased, perhaps simply the bowls on hand, but it is intriguing to wonder whether the images reflect scenes from common stories, individual flights of imagination, or reflected the personality of the deceased.  The bottom of the pieces was broken so that, as the docent said, the spirit could be released, or as the catalogue states, "the openings are broadly understood as symoblic portals between this world and that of the spirits."

"Mimbres" is the name of a small willow growing along the river that became known as the Mimbres River.

 I painted this one a bit:

I cleared the cracks from the rabbit's body:

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