Jicarilla Apache Pottery

Somewhere between 1400 and 1500 CE, large bands of Athabaskan people began arriving in the southern Rocky Mountains. These are the people who sorted out into Navajo and Apache, and then the Apache sorted out into Western Apache, Chiricahua Apache, Mescalero Apache, Lipan Apache and Jicarilla Apache. They have all been linked to a common source known as the Dismal River culture.

That first found Dismal River site (and others found since in Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado and South Dakota), was occupied up until about 1750 CE. The people had been separating out and moving off in different directions for years. Some went to the Black Hills and merged with Kiowas there to become the Kiowa Apache. Others went south along the eastern flanks of the mountains and eventually wrapped in a circle around the Rio Grande pueblos. Others merged with the Utes and Comanches. Where I'm going though, is this: micaceous pottery made by the Jicarilla Apache has been found in several Dismal River culture sites.

The Jicarilla Apache learned to make pottery from the Puebloans, primarily Taos and Picuris Pueblos. That's why the majority of their pottery is micaceous: they also share the same clay sources.

Jicarilla Apache Potters


Tammie Allen
Sheldon Nunez Velarde