Shapes and Forms: Wedding Vases

Circa 1920 Acoma wedding vase by an unknown potter Wedding vase
by an unknown Acoma potter
circa 1920

10 1/4 in H by 12 in Dia
Sgraffito geometric design on a red wedding vase Red wedding vase with
sgraffito geometric design
Wilma Baca Tosa, Jemez

10 1/2 in H by 4 3/4 in Dia
Geometric design carved into a red wedding vase Red wedding vase carved
with a geometric design
LuAnn Tafoya, Santa Clara

 
Sgraffito double avanyu and geometric design on a black wedding vase Black wedding vase with sienna
spots and sgraffito double avanyu
and geometric design
Sammy Naranjo, Santa Clara

9 1/2 in H by 4 in Dia

Pueblo Indians have been using the Wedding Vase in their marriage traditions for hundreds of years. In many cases it gets used twice: once at the time of acceptance of engagement and again at the time of actual marriage. In both cases the men present drink holy water from the side the groom drinks from and the women drink from the side of the bride. After the marriage is over, the vase is given to the newlyweds as a symbol of good fortune and might never be used again. However, potters at several pueblos and among the Hopis make wedding vases and the decorations applied to some of them can be really elaborate.

Bird element designs on a yellowware wedding vase Yellow ware wedding vase
with red and black bird element design
Rachel Sahmie, Hopi-Tewa

10 3/4 in H by 6 in Dia
Sgraffito medallions on the body of a black wedding vase Black wedding vase with
sgraffito hummingbird and butterfly medallions
Candelaria Suazo, Santa Clara

7 in H by 7 in Dia
Avanyu design carved into a black wedding vase with a twisted handle A twisted handle on a black
wedding vase with a carved avanyu design
Mary Singer, Santa Clara

10 1/2 in H by 7 in Dia