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 designs on a red wedding vase
Red wedding vase with sgraffito geometric designs, by 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, by LuAnn Tafoya, Santa Clara
Sgraffito double avanyu and geometric designs on a black wedding vase
Black wedding vase with sienna spots and sgraffito double avanyu and geometric designs, by 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 are really elaborate.

Bird element designs on a yellowware wedding vase
Yellow ware wedding vase decorated with red and black bird element designs, by Rachel Sahmie, Hopi
10 3/4 in H by 6 in Dia
Sgraffito medallions on the body of a black wedding vase
Black wedding vase decorated with sgraffito hummingbird and butterfly medallions,
by 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 decorated with a carved avanyu design, by Mary Singer, Santa Clara
10 1/2 in H by 7 in Dia
Pottery photos are courtesy of Andrea Fisher Fine Pottery