Lawrence Namoki


Lawrence Namoki
Lawrence Namoki

Lawrence Namoki is from Walpi, Arizona, born into the Flute-Deer Clan in 1949. Hopi society is a reflection of Hopi religion and his father, Maxwell, was a high priest of both clans. He was a kachina carver, too. Lawrence was not allowed to watch his father carve when he was a boy since carving was limited only to those who had been initiated into the ceremonial kivas. When Lawrence was a teenager, he was initiated in his father's Kachina Society. Then his father gave him a piece of cottonwood and taught him how to make the sacred figures. While Lawrence still carves kachinas, a trip to the Santa Fe Indian Market inspired him to try his hand at pottery making. He began producing pottery in 1983.

A self-taught potter, Lawrence has earned many awards for ceramic creations so intricately carved, painted and slipped that the pots look like they are made of wood. In his own words: "I concentrate on one pot at a time, I let my hands do the carving but my mind is on the next project. I never sketch it out. When I'm developing designs, I hear the voices of my elders in my mind, like a recording, telling me stories. These are stories that are over a thousand years old, passed from generations. How man was created. How the Hopis prophesied it. I spread my stories using my pottery. My pottery is my canvas."

Images of four kachinas doing a blessing ceremony carved on a pot
Jar carved with images of four kachinas doing a blessing ceremony
6.75 in H by 5 in Dia
Hopi Purification Dance on a polychrome seed pot
Polychrome seed pot lightly carved and painted with a Hopi Purification Dance
5.25 in H by 4.25 in Dia
Lightly carved and painted seed pot with a Sun katsina, feather and geomertric design
A Sun katsina, feather and geometric design decorate this lightly carved and painted seed pot
2.25 in L by 2.25 in W by 2.25 in H
Lightly carved, sgraffito and painted katsina and geometric design on a polychrome seed pot
A polychrome seed pot decorated with a lightly-carved, sgraffito and painted katsina and geometric design
3.5 in Dia by 3.75 in H
A mudhead dancer and a geometric design carved, painted and etched on a miniature polychrome seed pot
A miniature polychrome seed pot with a lightly carved, painted and etched mudhead dancer and geometric design
2.25 in Dia by 1.5 in H

Hopi Potters