Apachean (Southern Athapaskan)Southwest ApacheanJicarilla Apache

Tradition Name: Jicarilla Apache

First posted by C. Dean Wilson 2013

The production of historic micaceous ceramics in northern and northeastern New Mexico has ascribed to both Puebloan and Apache groups (Woosly and Olinger 1990). Micaceous pottery found at sites in the Taos and Picuris area are often linked to Tiwa speaking Pueblo villages and possibly Hispanic villages while that noted in sites in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and drainages along the western plains are linked to Athapaskan groups particularly the Jicarilla Apache. While some studies have used various characterization techniques to distinguish sources reflecting production by different ethnic groups (Eiselt and Darling 2012), other studies have noted the difficulties in distinguishing late micaceous pottery produced by different ethnic sources (Woosley and Olinger 1990).

My own approach has often involved the utilization of descriptive categories that do not imply any particular ethnic association. Still, differences have been postulated for the micaceous pottery that appears to have been produced, utilized, and widely traded by Jicarilla potters. The identification and documentation of such pottery may provide important clues relating to the nature and change in pottery technologies of Jicarilla Apaches who, during various periods, produced and traded pottery in areas of the Canadian drainages of the Eastern Plains, the Sangre de Cristos, the Rio Grande drainage and drainages to the east along the Rio Oso, as well as on their current reservations along the drainages and plateaus of the Upper San Juan North Central New Mexico.

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