Nampeyo (Hopi-Tewa), polychrome jar, c. 1930s, clay and pigment, 13 x 21 cm (National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution). Speakers: Dr. David Penney, Associate Director for Museum Scholarship, Exhibitions, and Public Engagement, National Museum of the American Indian and Dr. Steven Zucker
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Nampeyo’s distinctive pottery is best characterized by which of the following statements?
It shows that authentic American culture looks similar to Greek and Roman art
It is a synthesis of Pueblo pottery traditions and Nampeyo’s own artistic innovation
It mimics ancient Arapahoe pottery designs that had previously been unknown
It relies on modern materials and techniques to create traditional Pueblo pottery
Which feature of Nampeyo’s pot indicates the geographic region where she lived?
The meticulous application of hatching and cross-hatching
The wave-like designs decorating the surface
The asymmetrical shape of the pot
The distinctive color of the clay
What aspect of Nampeyo’s pottery appealed to Euro-Americans’ desire for evidence of an authentic American culture?
Its handcrafted production based on Native American traditions
Its detailed design that demonstrated innovation and artistic skill
Its creation late in Nampeyo’s career when her vision was poor
Its practical use as functional cookware
The migration pattern decorating this pot is a reference to
Abstract designs suggesting Spanish influence
Trade routes connecting Pueblo villages and towns
Rivers and streams throughout the Southwest
Traditional origin stories of the Hopi peoples
Which of the following was not an effect of the transcontinental railroad?
Collectors had easier access to purchase works by Native American artists
Native Americans produced pottery based on Pueblo traditions
Commercial centers for tourism developed in the Southwest
Broader circulation of Native American art and culture throughout the U.S.
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In the early 20th century, indigenous artists—including Nampeyo—helped to create a market for their artwork that became a way of managing relationships between native peoples and Anglo Americans.
Nampeyo’s pottery, which built on Hopi-Tewa traditions, appealed to Anglo-American collectors as they sought an authentic Native American culture, partly in response to the rise of mass production in the early twentieth century.
The Pueblo peoples create pottery that draws on traditions passed down through individual families. Pots can be distinguished by the use of local clays and the designs that decorate them.
The Southwest became a popular travel destination in the early 20th century, spurred on by tour companies in partnership with the railroads that had recently expanded into this area.
What does it mean when something is considered “authentic?” Discuss how Nampeyo’s story challenges and/or contradicts notions of authenticity when applied to questions of history, identity, or cultural heritage.