Ancestral Pueblo: Greater Upper Rio Grande ValleyNorthern Rio GrandeGreater Tewa Basin (Northern Tewa)Northern Rio Grande Micaceous Utility WareTewa Unpolished Micaceous

Type Name: Tewa Unpolished Micaceous

Period: 1650 A.D. - 1920 A.D.
Culture: Ancestral Pueblo: Greater Upper Rio Grande Valley
Branch: Northern Rio Grande
Tradition: Greater Tewa Basin (Northern Tewa)
Ware: Northern Rio Grande Micaceous Utility Ware

First posted by C. Dean Wilson 2012

Pottery that would be described here as Tewa Red was first described by Mera (1939) as Posuge Red and also includes in part Tewa Red Ware as discussed by Harlow (1973) and Tewa Polished Red as noted by Batkin (1987). Tewa Red as defined here refers to unpainted polished forms produced during the historic period with at least one surface completely covered by a red unpainted slip (Wilson 2011).

The assignment of pottery to this type can be quite tricky, especially during sherd analysis. For example some have questions whether pottery originally illustrated as Posuge Red (Mera 1039) actually represent this type or reflect portions of vessels from Tewa Polychrome (Harlow 1973; Batkin 1987). Some sherds assigned to this group may be derived from vessels associated with a number of different ware classes including those from true Tewa Red vessels for which at least one entire surface is covered by an unpainted red slip, the upper slipped portions of red-on-tan forms, oxidized areas of black wares, unpainted portions of red-on-glaze vessels, and red slipped unpainted portions of polychrome vessels.

Examples with at least one surface that exhibited a red polished slip without evidence of other decoration were classified as Tewa Polished Red. Completely slipped examples of deep bowls and soup plates have been noted (Harlow 1973). While a few shallow bowl sherds are derived from vessels for which the entire surface was covered with a distinct red slip, such forms appear to be rare and often appear to have derived from smaller vessels. Slips are often deep to dark red to maroon and are usually well polished. Slip colors and polish appear very similar to that noted in red slipped areas of Tewa polychrome types produced during the historic period. Both surfaces are commonly slipped and polished. Surfaces that are not covered with a red slip are usually tan to buff in color. Temper usually consists of a fine tuff similar to that for other plain ware types. Similar slipped red vessels appear to have been produced from at least to the early part of the seventeenth century to the early twentieth century, and tend to be the most common pottery type at assemblages dating the eighteenth century.

Adler, Michael A. and Herbert W. Dick
1999 Picuris Pueblo Through Time: Eight Centuries of Change at a Northern Rio Grande Pueblo. William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University.

Brugge David
1982 Apache and Navajo Ceramics in Southwestern Ceramics. In Southwest Ceramics: A Comparative Review. Edited by A. H. Schroeder, pp. 279-298. Arizona Archaeologist 15, The Arizona Archeological Society, Phoenix.

Dick, Herbert W.
1968 Six Historic Pottery Types from Spanish Sites in New Mexico. In Collected Papers in Honor of Lyndon L. Hargrave, edited by A.H. Schroeder, pp. 77-94. Papers of the Archaeological Society of New Mexico No.1. Museum of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.

Eiselt, Bernice Sunday
2006 Appendix E; A Brief Guide to Identification of Historic Micaceous of the Northern Rio Grande: Including Types Attributed to Hispanic, Northern Tewa, and Jicarilla Apache Potters. In the Emergence of Jicarilla Apache Enclave Economy During the 19th Century in Northern New Mexico, pp. 519-552, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Lang, Richard W.
1997 Ceramics from Archaeological Sites in the Vicinity of the Jemez Mountains: The Ole Corridor. In OLE Volume II: Artifacts, edited by J. C. Acklen, pp 231-276. TRC Mariah Associates Inc. Albuquerque.

Wilson, C. Dean
2011 Historic Indigenous Ceramic Types. In Settlers and Soldiers: The Historic Component at El Pueblo de Santa Fe (LA 1051). edited S. C. Lentz and M. J. Barbour, pp. 223-335. Office Archaeology Notes 410, Office of Archaeological Studies, Santa Fe.

Warren, A. Helene
1979 The Micaceous Pottery of the Rio Grande. In Collected Papers In Honor of Eric Kellerman Reed: Papers of the Archaeological Society 6, edited by A.H. Schroeder, pp. 148-166. Albuquerque Archaeological Society Press, Albuquerque.

Wilson C. Dean
2011 Historic Indigenous Ceramic Types. In Settlers and Soldiers: The Historic Component at El Pueblo de Santa Fe (LA 1051), by S. C. Lentz and M. J. Barbour, pp 223 -234. Archaeology Notes, 438. Office of Archaeological Studies, Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe.

Related Photos

Plain Unpolished Gray modified sherd