Gary Polacca

Gary Polacca was born in 1955. His parents were Thomas Polacca (Hopi-Tewa) and Gertrude (Navajo). His sisters were Carla Claw and Elvira Naha Nampeyo. His grandmother was Fannie Nampeyo, his great-grandmother Nampeyo of Hano.

Gary's style of pottery is very similar to his father's: lightly carved, sgraffito and tinted in earth tones. He says each of his pieces tells a spiritual story through the symbols used, the color scheme and the layout.

Gary's work can be seen at the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff and at the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture in Santa Fe.

Note: "Nampeyo" is the name of the woman who is head of the Hopi-Tewa Corn clan at First Mesa. It is an inherited designation with very specific roles and functions attached to it. As the Hopi and Hopi-Tewa are matrilineal, the name (and position) cannot be passed to a man, it can only be passed mother-to-younger-female-relative.

Miniature red on salmon seed pot with lightly carved and sgraffito geometric design Miniature red on salmon seed pot decorated with a lightly carved and sgraffito geometric design
2 1/2 in H by 2 3/4 in Dia
Carved, painted and formed jar with a katsina wearing a tablita lid Carved, painted and formed jar with a katsina wearing a tablita lid
5 1/2 in H by 2 1/2 in Dia

Hopi Potters