Ancestral Pueblo: Southern Colorado Plateau (Anasazi)Central AnasaziSouthern CibolaAcoma Historic Matte Paint WareAcomita Polychrome

Type Name: Acomita Polychrome

Period: 1780 A.D. - 1850 A.D.
Culture: Ancestral Pueblo: Southern Colorado Plateau (Anasazi)
Branch: Central Anasazi
Tradition: Southern Cibola
Ware: Acoma Historic Matte Paint Ware

First posted by C. Dean Wilson 2014

Acomita Polychrome was defined by Harlow (1967). This type is assigned to matte painted white wares produced at Acoma Pueblo that exhibit traits characteristic of production during the late eighteenth to the first half of the nineteenth century (Frank and Harlow 1973; Harlow 1973; Lammon Harlow 2013). Pottery assigned to Acomita Polychrome is similar to that described for earlier (Ako Polychrome) forms, although some changes are evident.

The paste is a brown to tan, and temper consists of crushed sherd. Painted decorations along the rim are executed in black rather than the red pigments used earlier. Decorations on Acomita Polychrome include thick lines in black mineral paint used along with dense red areas resulting in simple but bold designs (Dittert and Plog 1980). Painted decorations cover much of the area just above the short red slipped narrow base that contrasts with the body of the vessel that is covered by a white, buff, or tan slip. Decorated areas may be painted with either just a black or black along with a red to orange paint. Design layouts are not divided into panels and designs cover less of the vessel, leaving large open spaces. Overall designs include broad sweeping curves, spirals, or scroll-like figures, which seem to represent modifications of earlier bird forms. The volute figure is common, formed by combinations black paint with red edges. Vessel walls tend to be thicker than in earlier forms. Most vessel forms are represented by jars although examples of bowls have also been noted for this type. Necks become more distinct, and taller, rising straight as much as five centimeters above the point of sharp differentiation of the upper body with a distinct outward flare. The underbody became shorter and less differentiated from the upper body and the flare from the base to the top increased significantly. The upper body enlarged becoming nearly spherical, resulting in a globular or squat appearance for the jar.

Dittert, Alfred E, and Fred Plog
1980 Generations in Clay; Pueblo Pottery of the American Southwest. Northland Press, Flagstaff.

Frank, Larry and Francis H. Harlow
1990 Historic Pottery of the Pueblo Indians 1600-1880. Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., West Chester Pennsylvania.

Harlow, Francis H.

1967 Historic Pueblo Indian Pottery, Museum of New Mexico Press, Santa Fe.

1973 Matte Paint Pottery of the Tewa, Keres, and Zuni Pueblos. Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe.

Lammon, Dwight P. and Francis H. Harlow
2013 The Pottery of Acoma Pueblo. Museum of New Mexico Press, Santa Fe.

Related Photos

Acomita Polychrome bowl

Acomita Polychrome jar