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Bertha Tungovia

Native American


4.75 x 4.75 x 4.75 in.
Gift of the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation

Bertha Tungovia created an earthenware bowl and jar that were donated to the museum in Nora Eccles Harrison’s original gift of four hundred pieces. The objects are very different in shape and decoration. The Jar, probably a seed container, is whiteware: clay that becomes pearly white when fired, is polished smooth, and then painted with dense black patterning. The tradition of pottery making, handed down from generation to generation of Hopi potters (who trace their ancestry to the Puebloans), is viewed as a means of strengthening social and religious bonds, rather than just as a method of producing aesthetic or utilitarian products.

Little is known about Tungovia’s life, training, or production. She was born Bertha Kooyaquaptewa on the Hopi Reservation in northern Arizona. In addition to her work as a potter, Tungovia was the mother of nine children.

Danielle Stewart

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