This clay has no slip. It is of a brownish color which bakes to a mottled tan, sometimes almost golden. The potters often allow fire blemishes which show bluish splotches. Occasionally they smother the fire as at Santa Clara and turn the whole pot black. The clay is filled with tiny particles of mica (which substitute for temper so that temper is not used) and these show on the baked surface as glittering specks.


There is no painted decoration. Sometimes the necks of the vessels are trimmed with a rope of clay, attached by pressing it against the damp jar with the fingers and then baking it on.

Distinctive Shapes

Unlike the usual squatty pueblo jar, these shapes are tall and thin with small bases. Recently, they have had handles and covers.


This style is entirely different from that of the other pueblos where unpainted ware is made for cooking, but not in these tall shapes and not with applique decoration.

Taos and Picuris, on the edge of the Plains country, have apparently adopted the pottery style of the Navaho, Apache, and of various Plains Indians. Whether or not they ever made painted pottery, like the other pueblos, we do not know.

Taos and Picuris

Plate IV-20. Unpointed pottery, Taos and Picuris.