Loren Hamilton Nampeyo


Loren Hamilton Nampeyo is the son of Tonita and Eugene Hamilton and grandson of Fannie Nampeyo. In the last years of Fannie's life, Tonita and Fannie were inseparable. By that time, Tonita was doing most of the painting for Fannie but she refused to sign her name to any piece she made with Fannie. When Fannie died, Tonita moved into the Corn Clan House as the head of the Corn Clan. The same tools and stones that had been used by Nampeyo and then Fannie passed into Tonita's hands. As the Hopi-Tewa are a matrilineal society, those tools and stones, title and home were passed on to her niece Melda Nampeyo. As a male, Loren had a different path to follow.

Loren was born in the Seventh-Day Adventist Hospital on the Navajo Nation near Gouldings, UT in 1961. His parents both worked at the preschool in Medicine Hat, UT and Loren started his schooling there. He graduated from high school in Winslow, AZ after passing through the Polacca Day School and then middle school in Tuba City.

Loren learned to make pottery through watching his mother as he grew up. He learned to carve from his uncle, Thomas Polacca. After graduating from high school, Loren went to work for the housing arm of the Hopi Tribal Authority. He made pottery in his spare time.

At first, Tonita was doing his decorating for him. Then he developed his own carved, incised and painted style. He sometimes carved animals and birds in his pieces, sometimes kachinas. He expanded his palette over time and incorporated a lot of different themes and elements in his later pieces.

Like other male potters in the Polacca line, Loren's work received immediate acclaim. Nearly all his pottery has been claimed by collectors before it even left his home.

Carved, painted and sgraffito dancer, geometric design and pueblo background on a polychrome seed pot A polychrome seed pot with a carved, sgraffito and painted dancer and geometric design with a pueblo background
2.75 in H by 2,75 in Dia

Hopi Potters