Ancestral Pueblo: Greater Upper Rio Grande ValleyNorthern Rio GrandeGreater Tewa Basin (Northern Tewa)Northern Rio Grande White WarePindi Black-on-white

Type Name: Pindi Black-on-white

Period: 1300 A.D. - 1425 A.D.
Culture: Ancestral Pueblo: Greater Upper Rio Grande Valley
Branch: Northern Rio Grande
Tradition: Greater Tewa Basin (Northern Tewa)
Ware: Northern Rio Grande White Ware

First posted by C. Dean Wilson 2012

Pindi Black-on-white was defined by Stubbs and Stallings (1953) during investigations of Pindi Pueblo. This type represents one of several white ware types produced in different regions of the Rio Grande during the Late Coalition period that seem to have developed directly out of Santa Fe Black-on-white. While the validity of this type has since been sometimes questioned, my experiences with late Coalition and early Classic period ceramic assemblages in the Santa Fe Valley indicate that pottery assigned to this type exhibit a distinct combination of characteristics indicative of pottery produced over relatively restricted area and specific time span (Wilson 2011).

Pindi Black-on-white is most easily distinguished from other Northern Rio Grande types dating to the late Coalition and Early Classic periods by paste and temper characteristics (Habicht-Mauche 1993; Stubbs and Stallings 1953; Wilson 2011). Temper is easily identified by distinct and often visible large soft white to light gray inclusions vitric tuff or pumice fragments. These fragments are distinguished as white to gray inclusions that are highly visible in a dark pastes even without the aid of microscope. Paste clay is consistently soft and crumbly. Paste color ranges from dark gray, gray, dark brown to brick red. Forms are almost exclusively represented by bowls which tend to be fairly large. Bowl exteriors are usually not polished or slipped. These surfaces are often pitted with numerous white temper fragments visible on the surface. Bowl interiors are usually covered with a very thin soft white to light gray to brown slip. The surface slip is often uneven and erodes and flakes easily creating a streaky effect over a lightly polished and dull surface. The organic paint is often a deep dark color similar to that commonly noted on Wiyo Black-on-white, although some examples may also may be more faded or translucent. Most designs are organized in paneled bands and decorated with large solid elements and wide lines. Pindi Black-on-white is most common in areas of the Santa Fe Valley and possibly also in the Pecos Valley (Kidder and Amsden 1931). The spatial distribution reported for this type appears to be limited to areas along the Santa Fe Valley.

While the temporal span first assigned to this type was about A.D. 1300 to 1350 (Stubbs and Stallings 1953), this end date may reflect the end of the occupation at Pindi Pueblo. Dates from Arroyo Hondo indicate Pindi Black-on-white may occur in assemblages dating as late as A.D. 1425 (Habicht-Mauche 1993), which is supported by the common association of this type at assemblages dominated by Biscuit A and Aqua Fria Glaze-on-red and with very little Santa Fe Black-on-white at LA 1051 in downtown Santa Fe (Wilson 2011). Some examples of decorated forms with pastes described for Pindi Black-on-white display characteristics more similar to those noted in Santa Fe Black-on-while while others exhibit traits that are very similar to those noted for early biscuit ware types.

Habicht-Mauche, Judith A.
1993 The Pottery from Arroyo Hondo Pueblo, New Mexico; Tribalization and Trade in the Northern Rio Grande. Arroyo Hondo Archaeological Series, Volume 8. School of American Research Press, Santa Fe.

Kidder, Alfred V., and Charles A. Amsden
1931 The Pottery of Pecos, Volume I, The Dull-Paint Wares. Papers of the Southwestern Expedition, No. 5, Yale University Press, New Haven.

Stubbs, Stanley A.. and W.S. Stallings, Jr.
1953 The Excavation on of Pindi Pueblo New Mexico, Monographs of the School of American Research and the Laboratory of Anthropology, No. 18, Santa Fe.

Wilson, C. Dean
2011 Analysis of Pottery Recovered from Prehistoric Contexts. In Ogapogeh, the White Shell Water Place: The Prehistoric Component at El Pueblo de Santa Fe (LA 1051), by S. L. Lentz, pp. 187–224. Archaeology Notes, 438. Office of Archaeological Studies, Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe.

Related Photos

Pindi Black-on-white bowl sherds

Pindi Black-on-white bowl sherds

Pindi Black-on-white bowl

Pindi Black-on-white bowl