Mata Ortiz Handbuilt and Handetched Pot with Water Serpent and Roadrunners


Mata Ortiz Handbuilt and Handetched Pot with Water Serpent and Roadrunners by Eleuterio Pina

This wonderful bowl with two Quetzalcoatl (feathered serpents) encircling the bowl along with roadrunners and lizards. A turtle guards the opening of the pot. This piece was created by Mata Ortiz resident Eleuterio Pina. The water serpent is a common being throughout the Puebloan cultures of southwestern North American. When the waters rushed into Zuni Pueblo, the people fled to the top of their sacred mountain, Dowa Yallane (Corn Mountain), to get above the flood. They were dying of thirst and starvation and so said prayers to each of the six directions, asking for rescue. Kolowisi heard their prayers and came from the West and rested his jaw on top of Dowa Yallane and regurgitated fresh water, meat and seeds and so saved the Zuni people. When the waters receded, Kolowisi did not want to go back to the West so he now resides in the underground lake in the south where the Katsinam live. Kolowisi is the guardian of the water sources and can move around in aquifers and into Zuni River, Salt Lake, or any body of water. He is very sacred and sometimes is brought into Zuni Pueblo as a Katsina. In the Tewa Pueblos he is called Avanyu and is sometimes seen etched on the pottery in this area. In Mata Ortiz he is called Quetzalcoatl and is a feathered serpent. Also called Xiuhcoatl and is interpreted as the embodiment of the dry season and a weapon of the sun. He is believed to live in the Rio Grande and the underground streams and water sources there. The turtle represents long life. Many Native people believe that we are living on the back of a turtle. Pottery ring included.


7 in. tall x 6.25 in. dia.


Eleuterio Pina--1650

In stock
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