Shapes and Forms: Figures

Circus performer, tattooed and pierced Tattooed and pierced circus performer, Virgil Ortiz, Cochiti
14 1/2 in H by 11 in Dia
Carved head and legs and Paquime designs on the body of a black on black javelina Black on black javelina with a carved head and legs and body decorated with Paquimé designs, Nicolas Ortiz, Mata Ortiz
6 3/4 in H by 10 in Dia
Frog figure in black and white Black and white frog figure, Lisa Holt and Harlan Reano, Cochiti/Santo Domingo
3 3/4 in H by 10 in Dia
Polychrome Tesuque Rain God Tesuque Rain God
6 1/4 in H by 4 1/4 in Dia

Figures, figurines and effigies have played a role in Native American pottery for thousands of years. However, the religious laws of some pueblos don't allow for the creation of figures or effigies by their potters. In other pueblos, more figures are made than any other kind of pottery. At Tesuque Pueblo, it was the creation of thousands and thousands of Rain God figures for Anglo traders that virtually ended all pottery making in the pueblo.

Many of the figures produced at Mata Ortiz are influenced by pots made long ago at Paquime and Csas Grandes, many of which show influence from Mogollan Culture potters to the north and from Aztec and Mayan sources to the south.

Red and black bird element designs on a yellow ware bird effigy pot Yellow ware bird effigy pot decorated with red and black bird element and geometric design, Jean Sahme, Hopi-Tewa
5 3/4 in H by 7 1/4 in Dia
Three children, butterfly, lizard and puppy on a turtle storyteller Turtle storyteller with three children, lizard, butterfly and puppy
Marilyn Ray Lewis, Acoma

5 1/2 in H by 6 3/4 in Dia
Two-headed tattoed polychrome circus performer Polychrome two-headed tattooed circus performer
Mary Janice Ortiz, Cochiti

13 in H by 9 in Dia
Corn Maiden figure from Nambe Pueblo Micaceous black Corn Maiden figure
Robert Vigil, Nambe

13 in H by 3 1/2 in Dia