The slip is of clay, the same kind as that in the jar and when it is fired, shows mottling which ranges from orange to cream, depending on how little air gets to it. The decorations are in black (or dark brown), reddish orange, and white. Less frequently, the slip is dark red, decorated with black or black and white.


The design is spreading and unsymmetrical, and contains curving lines which are often a conventionalization of feathers and bird forms. The mottled background is an important part of the decoration.

Distinctive Shapes

The jar is unusually squat, with flattened shoulder and small mouth. The bowl has an incurving rim.


Before 1859, decorated pottery had almost ceased on the Hopi mesas. Then Nampeyo, a Tewa woman of Hano, adopted the designs of pottery dug up by archaeologists at the ruined village of Sikyatki. Other First Mesa women, both Hopi and Tewa, have followed her.

Black on mottled orange, HopiHopi

Plate IV-16. Black on mottled orange, Hopi.