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Bertha Tungovia

Native American

Date unknown

2.75 x 10 x 10 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 Bowl is in the tradition of Jeddito Yellow Ware, a style admired for its golden surface and elaborate designs. Polychrome pieces with multicolored decoration, like this one, are especially prized. The style was developed around 1300 BCE among the Ancestral Pueblo people and is still made in the present day. 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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