Betty Manygoats

Betty Manygoats
Betty Manygoats

Betty Manygoats makes a lot of wedding vases decorated with horned toads... and bowls and plates decorated with horned toads and lots of other Navajo Folk Art, too. She's been doing it for many years. She taught her daughter, Elizabeth Manygoats, and her son-in-law, Jonathan Chee, to make pottery, too.

Betty never learned to speak English. Growing up she lived too far out in the country to get to school. It was so remote she was home-schooled by her father. Around the age of 25 she began to learn to make Navajo pottery from her maternal grandmother, Grace Barlow. A few years later, she was teaching how to make Navajo pottery at the Tuba City High School.

Betty became famous for her horned toads: traditional Navajos avoid the horned toad as it is considered bad luck. Betty puts them on almost everything she makes. She says she's a Christian and those superstitions don't mean anything.

Her favorite piece to make is the wedding vase with a bridge between the two spouts. She also likes to add repousse human and animal figures and paint them in brght colors. She probably uses the largest range of styles and motifs of any Navajo potters working today.

Among Betty's relatives are Rose Williams, Alice Cling, Susie Crank and Louise Goodman.

Betty has participated in shows at the Museum of Northern Arizona, the Santo Domingo Arts and Crafts Show and the Window Rock Arts and Crafts Show. Betty hasn't always signed her pots but the signature I've most seen on her pieces is "BM".

Ceramic frying pan with eggs and bacon
Navajo Folk Art frying pan
1 in H by 9 1/2 in Dia
Raised horned toads and fire clouds on a red bowl
Red bowl with raised horned toads and fire clouds
4 in H by 12 1/4 in Dia
Horned toads and fire clouds on a brown wedding vase
Brown wedding vase decorated with horned toads and fire clouds
8 1/2 in H by 5 in Dia
Horned toads in a brown bowl
A brown bowl full of horned toads
3 1/2 in H by 11 1/2 in Dia
Horned toads and fire clouds on a brown wedding vase
Brown wedding vase with horned toads and fire clouds
8 1/4 in H by 5 in Dia
Horned toads and fire clouds on a brown wedding vase
Horned toads, fire clouds and pine pitch on a brown wedding vase
15 3/4 in H by 9 1/2 in Dia
Horned toads and fire clouds on a brown wedding vase
A brown wedding vase decorated with horned toads and fire clouds
5 3/4 in H by 5 in Dia
Horned toads and fire clouds on a brown wedding vase
Brown wedding vase with horned toads and fire clouds
12 3/4 in H by 8 in Dia

Navajo Potters