This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Symbols Of The Hopi Pottery Essay

2085 words - 8 pages

Symbols of the Hopi Pottery

When most people look at a piece of pottery the first thing that comes to mind is the significance of the symbols and the stories behind these symbols. There are some symbols of Hopi pottery that have stories behind them and some that are symbols of either lost significance or the story is unknown. Some of the symbols we think of as symbols, are really the potters own design. Most people make the mistake that symbols and designs are the same thing, but in fact they are very different. Hopi potters, mostly women, have been instrumental in both preserving and developing traditional symbols and innovating designs in response to changes in and challenges to their culture.

In the beginning, symbolism was used for a means of communication. The reason for this was because during this time most Native American’s were Illiterate. Instead of using letter’s in the alphabet, as we do today , they used pictures (Douglas 42). This came to become what we call symbolism.

With a piece of pottery to paint, the Hopi potter uses his/hers artistic ability to produce a design that is very pleasing to the eye. Most of these designs are not intended to be symbols. But when the “white man” see’s this design he immediately thinks it is symbolism. The Indian thinks that if he tells the “white man” that this is just a design he will not believe him, so instead he makes up a story. This helps the Indian market his product as well as avoid confusion on the meaning of the pottery by the “white man” (“Museum Notes: An Introduction”1).

When the potter is getting ready to start the painting process he /she already knows the design that is going to be painted on the piece. The Hopi potters do not draw the designs on the pots or trace it from a piece of paper. They do not sketch it will a pencil, it is all free hand. The potter does not look at the design or shape of piece of pottery until the complete piece is finished. Once the pot is finished, the potter looks at it and if there is something wrong with it, such as it is lop-sided or the design is corked, he/she takes it as a learning experience , and will know what not to do the next time (“Museum Notes” 3).

If on the other hand, he/she has not decided on a design he/she may take the pot in his/her hands and close his/her eyes and imagine a design that would fit the pot which would be attractive on the piece. A very famous potter, Maria Martinez creates all of her pottery by first closing her eyes with the piece in her hands and then imagining what would look good on this piece and what will fit perfectly. Another artist, Carol Duwyenie, states “My creations in art revolve around symbolism in the relationship to life and Hopi Philosophy of the earth. Just like the paths of life change, twist, and turn, so has my work. I have taken different paths to express my creativity....”(Duwyenie 1). Everyone has there own way of deciding what to place on their art. As...

Find Another Essay On Symbols of the Hopi Pottery

The Symbols of The Lottery Essay

728 words - 3 pages papers inside.” Therefore Shirley Jackson effectively used the black box, stones, and stool as symbolism in this story. Shirley showed how the simplest objects can have the most significant meanings in a story. This story showed the “rituals” and “traditions” of these symbols, and how far people will go to survive. When it comes to this lottery I’m glad, “It’s not the way it used to be.”

lord of the flies symbols Essay

1031 words - 5 pages From Lord of the Flies, there were many things like Conch and Fire that symbolized something. One of the most important symbols was the Conch. The Conch, which is a big shell that can be seen at the beach symbolizes many things in the Lord of the Flies. The Conch represents power because it once was able to control the boys with it, and it also symbolizes democracy because of anyone who has their ideas and can speak their thoughts. The Conch

The Grapes of Wrath-the Biblical Symbols

1975 words - 8 pages Biblical symbols are numerous in The Grapes of Wrath. The novel's title, for example, is taken from "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" ("Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord; He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored").Of great significance within the range of biblical symbols, of course, is that of Christ, represented in the novel not only by Jom Casy, but aslo by Tom Joad, Rose of Sharon, and even

Symbols and the Struggles of Women

772 words - 4 pages A woman strangled her husband to death. Another woman died due to extreme happiness after she was told her husband passed away in an accident. “Trifles” and “The Story of an Hour” are the two short stories associated with these plots. The two texts are perplexing which is why they use symbols. Both stories use objects figuratively to reveal a hidden story that contributes to the theme which is pain and loneliness may provoke a person to act in

Symbols of escapism in the Glass Menagerie

785 words - 3 pages There are many symbols of escapism presented in the Glass Menagerie and each character has its own symbols connected to it. The characters will, however, only ever be able to escape their '2 by 4' situation for a brief moment. This essay will discuss the characters in the play and how they are linked to the symbols of escapism with reference to the play.In the play Tom becomes highly pre-occupied with the magician and his ability to escape the

Important symbols in Lord of the Flies

873 words - 4 pages In William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies, he uses unique elements to symbolize many concepts throughout the story. The two most important but differing symbols used throughout the novel are the Conch and Sow’s head symbolically used by the author to demonstrate the transition of good to evil as the darkness of savagery slowly begins to powerfully overtake the boys’ mental concept of their civilian nature that they were born into. Both

Symbols and Symbolism Essay - Use of Symbols in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

920 words - 4 pages Use of Symbols in The Scarlet Letter       In World Book Dictionary, a symbol is defined as something that stands for or represents something else, especially an idea, quality, or condition. Symbols can be objects, characters, figures, or colors used to represent ideas or concepts. In the novel The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, there are many symbols that are throughout the novel. While symbols can be

The Powers of the Symbols in "Lord of the Flies"

1064 words - 4 pages Lord of the Flies is a novel that is all about symbols that have different powers which is used on the boys. Two of the symbols which are the conch and the sow’s head contain powers that are opposite of each other and they have a great affect on the boys. Lord of the Flies would be a different story without symbols. The conch has the powers that lead to civilization and order. It represents the authority that the boys will need to get rescued

Development of Math- The Power of Mathematical Symbols

1395 words - 6 pages Mathematics just as anything else innovated in our society is based upon the needs of mankind. As our society became more and more complex so did our need for mathematics. To simplify all branches of mathematics, symbols were adopted to express formulas and represent constants. In particular, Albert Einstein created one of the most famous formulas known to man today. This formula that has been cherished in the many fields of science for years is

Symbols and Symbolism in The House of the Seven Gables

3398 words - 14 pages Symbolism in The House of the Seven Gables        American literature reflects life and the struggles faced during existence. Symbols are an eloquent way for an author to create a more fully developed work of art. The stories themselves tell a tale; however, an author also uses symbols to relay his message in a more subtle manner. Nathaniel Hawthorne was one of the earliest authors to use symbols as an integral part of his plots. This is

Analysis of archetypal symbols in the film "The Last Wave"

1758 words - 7 pages indeed what few films since than have done. Peter Weir deliberately made the movie to show the Aboriginal people's ideas and culture to the world, and in doing so exposed the cultural subjugation the Aboriginal people are going through. He made a triumphing film about current social issues, and an in - depth look into another culture, and cleverly disguised it as a suspense thriller about strange weather. He packed it full of symbols and

Similar Essays

The Art Of Moche Pottery Essay

1828 words - 7 pages Pottery, not the first thing you think about when you want to jot something down. When one goes to write something, whether be it an idea or to record the daily events, one just needs to pick up a pen and write. However to the Mochica people, pottery is just that, both a writing utensil and a medium. Unlike our system of writing where we use symbols to form a meaning, the Mochica did not develop a writing system. "The closest the Mochica may

An Overview Of The Hopi Indians

4185 words - 17 pages the Hopi philosophy that neglecting your responsibilities was pure evil.Including the domestic aspects, women often did a lot of the crafts that are associated with the Hopi culture. The primary crafts of the Hopi people were baskets, textiles, trays, pottery, and kachinas (Tanner & Tanner 1980: 65). Textile production has been around since the time of the ancient hunters and gatherers, beginning with making "twined rabbit fur blankets, and

The Archaeological Importance Of The Study Of Pottery

1666 words - 7 pages The discipline of archaeology is by no means a simple nor singular study of the past. Due to the wide range of evidence within the archaeological record, from organic to inorganic, many different methods and approaches are taken in order to deal with the wide spectrum of differing evidence. Nevertheless, the study of pottery is without doubt one of the most important tasks taken on by any archaeologist. A great wealth of information can be

Ancient Thera, Sanorini What Does The Physical Evidence Available Today Reveal About The Theran Economy And Beliefs (E.G Wall Frescoes, Pottery, Architecture, Religious Symbols)

608 words - 2 pages , while residential houses were constructed by using small stones of uneven shapes. As well as the remains of occupants of this city, Thira also contained pottery, architectural designs as well as religious symbols, giving archeologists a fascinating look into the bronze age that wasn't previously available.These artifacts found show the economic activities as well as beliefs held by the Thera society. In a nutshell, it can be seen that the