Native American

Zuni Water Jar with Deer Motif

20th century


Gift of Eleanor C. Rawlings   


Zuni design used plenty of white space and red minimally. The primary motif here is the deer with heartline, enclosed in his house. An arch of mostly spiral patterns curves over and underneath the animal. The neck of the jar is decorated by alternating two motifs that must always be used together. The diamond is said to bring good luck in childhood, and the feather, whose key ingredients are the curving triangular shape called the thunder-knife, is used in ceremonies by priests. The squared or boxlike hook resembles a pattern common on some kachina masks.

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