by an unknown Acoma potter
circa 1920 10.25 in H by 12 in Dia
Red wedding vase with sgraffito geometric design, by
Wilma Baca Tosa, Jemez 10.5 in H by 4.75 in Dia
Red wedding vase carved with a geometric design, by
LuAnn Tafoya, Santa Clara 13.25 in H by 6 in W by 9.75 in L
Black wedding vase with sienna spots and sgraffito double avanyu, by
and geometric design Sammy Naranjo, Santa Clara 9.5 in H by 4 in Dia
Pueblo Indians have been using the Wedding Vase in their marriage traditions for hundreds of years. In most cases it gets used twice: once at the time of acceptance of engagement and again at the time of actual marriage.
At the time of the acceptance of engagement, the vase is filled with holy water. Then the male representatives drink from the spout the groom drinks from and the female representatives drink from the spout of the bride. That's a symbolic affirming of the relationships between the members of each sex of each family. This happens again during the actual wedding ceremony.
When the marriage ceremony is complete, the vase is given to the newlyweds as a symbol of good fortune and might never be used again.
These days, potters at several pueblos, among the Hopis and at Mata Ortiz make wedding vases. The decorations applied to some of them can be really elaborate. There are also Navajo wedding vases just crawling with horned toads and others with Navajo yard scenes decorating them. I've even seen a couple from Silas Claw with three spouts.
Yellow ware wedding vase with red and black bird element design, by
Rachel Sahmie, Hopi-Tewa 10.75 in H by 6 in Dia
Black wedding vase with sgraffito hummingbird and butterfly medallions, by
Candelaria Suazo, Santa Clara 7 in H by 7 in Dia
A twisted handle on a black wedding vase with a carved avanyu design, by
Mary Singer, Santa Clara 10.5 in H by 7 in Dia
Polychrome wedding vase decorated with a quadrillos design, by Olga Quezada, Mata Ortiz 6.5 in H by 6.25 in Dia
Brown wedding vase decorated with horned toads, fire clouds and pine pitch, by Betty Manygoats, Navajo 10.5 in H by 6.5 in Dia
A melon-shaped base on a buff wedding vase, by Juanita Fragua, Jemez 10.75 in H by 6.75 in Dia
Polychrome jar decorated with a hummingbird, rain cloud, rainbow, flower and geometric design, by Ruby Panana, Zia Pueblo 10 in H by 7.5 in Dia
Black-on-black wedding vase with a band of feathers design, by Maria Martinez, San Ildefonso 9.5 in H by 7.75 in Dia