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Faye B. Tso

Native American

Untitled Dine Vase


10.25 x 6 x 6 in.
Gift of the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation

Faye B. Tso’s Untitled Diné Vase is an unconventional example of Diné (Navajo) ceramics, which typically employ little surface decoration, instead relying on vibrant glazes and textures. Tso, however, applies imagery to her objects, including deity figures such as corn maidens, warriors, dancers, ceremonial scenes, and other culturally significant emblems of the Diné people.

Faye B. Tso was a practicing herbalist, healer, and potter. Her pots were often used by family members in ceremonial activities due to the spiritual link they perceived between fire, air, and earth in ceramics production. Born in Coal Mine Mesa, Arizona, Tso and other members of the Navajo nation were relocated to Tuba City, Arizona, in the mid-1970s—the result of a manufactured land dispute between the Hopi and Navajo peoples on the part of energy corporations, who desired access to the natural resources of the land. Tso continued to return to Coal Mine Mesa to dig her clay and gather piñon, a type of pine that was critical source of pitch resin used to coat and seal her pottery.

Matthew Limb

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