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Deanna Tso

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Deanna Tso

Native American

Deanna Tso was a Diné (Navajo) Native American potter.

As a historically nomadic people, the Diné did not develop a strong ceramics tradition as their agriculturally minded neighbors in the Southwest. Historical instances of Diné ceramics are rare as they were largely unnecessary to the nomadic lifestyle of the Navajo people. Diné ceramic vessels that have been discovered along the San Juan River date back only to the mid-eighteenth century. Trade with European settlers was established shortly afterward and the Diné were able to trade for iron and tin cooking vessels—making pottery unnecessary. As interest in Native American ceramics on the part of collectors and tourists grew in the twentieth century, Diné craftspeople began to more intently develop their own objects in order to compete with the economically viable Hopi, Acoma, and Laguna ceramics trade.

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