Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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vase with Avanyu design
  • Tonita Martinez Roybal
    1892–1945, active 1909–1945
    active: United States
  • vase with Avanyu design, late 1920s
  • Where object was made: San Ildefonso Pueblo, New Mexico, United States
  • ceramic, paint, burnishing
  • Object Height/Diameter: 28 x 32.5 cm
    Object Height/Diameter: 11 x 12 3/4 in
  • Source unknown
  • Not on display
  • 0000.0810
Label Text

Black vase with a highly polished surface that is painted with a matte black paint. The top of the vase has a scalloped design with a row of triangular shapes below the rounded scallops. Around the shoulder of the vase is a horned serpent identified as Avanyu, the Tewa word for "water serpent." The serpent has a long, wave-like shape that wraps around the entire vase. The serpent's head has a long horn that curves around to the back of the head and ends in a three-pronged pitchfork shape. The serpent has a long tongue which is extended and ends in an arrowhead shape. Above the serpent's body where the figure curves down, are four semi-circular shapes depicting clouds. The serpent and cloud designs are painted in reverse, so that the matte black background creates the design in the shiny, polished surface of the rest of the vase.