Olla (water jar)

Native American (Tesuque Pueblo)
about 1850–70

Object Place: Tesuque, New Mexico, United States


Overall: 28.6 cm (11 1/4 in.) Diam.(Overall): 26.7 cm (10 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Earthenware with slip paint

Not On View





Globular body with pronounced neck that flares slightly. Stone polished white ground covers 85% of vessel; red band and red clay on lower 15%. Black slip painting; double bands frame neck, which has within diagonally placed split feathers, tips touching upper and lower band and rotating around neck ground. Wide body area holds a pair of large whirling six armed seed-pod-like images on one side with a serpent-like stepped symbol moving horizontally on the other side; feather symbols are attached to the outer corners of the steps. The painting leaves a high percentage of open ground giving the feeling of symbols suspended in space.


Purchased by Charles Nichols at sale 1589, Skinner, Inc., Bolton, Massachusetts, 25 June 1994, lot no. 0118; to MFA, 1994, gift of Nichols with the Seminarians.

Credit Line

Gift of The Seminarians