Shapes and Forms: Seed Pots

Lady bug, butterfly and shard design on a polychrome seedpot Polychrome seedpot with lady bug, butterfly and shard design
Carolyn Concho, Acoma

1 1/4 in H by 3 in Dia
Sgraffito turtle and dragonfly motif on a brown seed pot Brown seed pot with a sgraffito turtle and dragonfly motif
Dusty Naranjo, Santa Clara

2 1/2 in H by 5 1/4 in Dia
Sgraffito and painted lizard and geometric designs on a polychrome seed pot Polychrome seed pot with sgraffito and painted lizard and geometric design
Glendora Fragua, Jemez

1 1/4 in H by 2 3/4 in Dia
Sgraffito hummingbird, feather and geometric design on a black seed pot Black seed pot with a sgraffito hummingbird, feather and geometric design
Dean Haungooah, Santa Clara

2 in H by 2 1/2 in Dia

Seed pots came about as a means of effectively preserving seeds for planting next season. It used to be that a vessel was made with a small hole in it, large enough to pass seeds through but small enough to put a plug in. When planting season came around, seed-filled pots would be broken and the seeds released for planting. This use alone accounts for many of the potsherds that litter the ground at ancient sites.

Because the seed pot contained the hopes and prayers of the people for their prosperity over the next year(s), it was created of the Clay Mother in a state of constant prayer, decorated with the symbols and designs of prayer and then prayed over while being fired.

Today, the seed pot design has been stretched, flattened, blown up and used as a background for all kinds of decorations.

Fine line and spiralling geometric design on a polychrome seed pot
Polychrome seed pot decorated with a fine line and spiralling geometric design
9 1/4 in H by 7 3/4 in Dia
Carved relief on a polychrome seed pot
Carved polychrome seed pot
4 1/2 in H by 8 1/4 in Dia
Cloud, lightning bolt, deer, heart line and geometric design on a black on red contemporary seed pot
Contemporary black on red seed pot decorated with a lightning bolt, cloud, deer-with-heart-line and geometric design
9 3/4 in H by 10 in Dia
Kiva step and geometric design on a black and white seed pot
Black and white seed pot decorated with a kiva step and geometric design, by Anderson Jamie Peynetsa, Zuni
4 1/4 in H by 5 in Dia