Daisy Hooee Nampeyo


Daisy Hooee Nampeyo was born around 1906 to Annie and Will Healing. Her grandmother was Nampeyo of Hano. Her mother was of the Corn Clan but Daisy was named Tobacco Flower after her father's Tobacco Clan. "Daisy" was given to her by a field nurse working at the government agency office on First Mesa. Shortly after she was born at Hano her family moved to the new village of Polacca at the base of First Mesa.

Daisy spent a lot of time with her grandmother and learned to make pottery at a very early age. As a teenager she developed cataracts in her eyes and a wealthy California benefactress (Anita Baldwin, of Santa Anita Racetrack fame) paid for the operation to remove the cataracts. Daisy stayed with Anita for most of several years while her eyes healed, returning to Polacca during the summers. Anita sent Daisy to school at L'Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris (she studied sculpture and painting) and eventually took her on a tour around the world to see other kinds of art.

Daisy returned to Hopi when her mother's health began to fail. Shortly after that she married Ray Naha and they had three children. Not long after Ray left, they divorced and she returned to her mother's house with the kids. She soon found a job cooking for a 4H group in Ramah, NM, and then married Leo Poblano, a silversmith from Zuni. She collaborated on some of his jewelry but also made pottery. A few years later Leo was killed while fighting a forest fire in California and Daisy returned to Polacca to work with her sister, Rachel Namingha Nampeyo.

In 1948, Daisy met and married Sidney Hooee, another silversmith from Zuni. She returned to Zuni where Catalina Zunie recruited her a few years later to teach traditional pottery making at Zuni High School. Daisy spent some time becoming a consummate Zuni potter and learning the designs first. Jennie Laate married into and moved to Zuni from Acoma during this time. Jennie and Daisy learned together. Daisy started teaching pottery classes at Zuni High in the fall of 1960. She retired from teaching in 1974 but remained at Zuni for another decade before returning to Hopi.

Jennie Laate took over teaching the pottery classes at Zuni High when Daisy retired. But Daisy was still meeting with older women of the pueblo in her home and teaching some of them to make pottery.

In her spare time, Daisy also founded the dancing group "The Olla Maidens." The Olla Maidens performed their dances in traditional dress but with water jars balanced on their heads, just like the women of old did in their daily routine. The Olla Maidens performed for years at local events and at national pow-wows.

Daisy passed on at Hopi in 1998.

Feather design on an open polychrome bowl
Open polychrome bowl with feather design
2.5 in H by 4.75 in Dia
Cloud and rain design on a black and white bowl
Black and white bowl decorated with cloud and rain designs
2.5 in H by 3.25 in Dia
Stylized eagle tail, bird element and geometric design on a polychrome jar
Polychrome jar decorated with a stylized eagle tail, bird element and geometric design
9.25 in H by 12.5 in Dia
Bird element and geometric design on a polychrome bowl
Polychrome bowl decorated with a bird element and geometric design
3 in H by 7.75 in Dia

Hopi Potters