Ancestral Pueblo: Greater Upper Rio Grande ValleySouthern Rio GrandeMiddle Rio GrandePuname District Polychrome WareZia Polychrome

Type Name: Zia Polychrome

Period: 1850 A.D. - 0 Now
Culture: Ancestral Pueblo: Greater Upper Rio Grande Valley
Branch: Southern Rio Grande
Tradition: Middle Rio Grande
Ware: Puname District Polychrome Ware

First posted by Dean Wilson 2014

Zia Polychrome was described and illustrated by Chapman (1938). Examples of pottery that would be included here in San Pablo Polychrome include later examples of forms previously assigned to Trios Polychrome .(Frank and Harlow 1990; Harlow 1963; Harlow 1973). Zia Polychrome exhibits the bright red paste and basalt temper characteristic of Puname area polychrome types, but is differentiated by stylistic changes that occurred at about A.D. 1850. Jars were decorated in a red and black mineral paint. Early variations of this type are decorated with a black paint that is thick enough to result in noticeably raised perspective that is particular striking for hachured decorations (Frank and Harlow 1990). After A.D. 1900 the black paint was flatter, grainer, and slightly browner. The basal area exhibits a higher polish. Surfaces are more glossy, harder and whiter that those noted for earlier Puname area types. Most forms consist of jars with straighter under bodies with angular incurves at the base (Frank and Harlow 1990).

Zia Polychrome is also distinguished by decorative conventions that occurred in the mid nineteenth century, that reflect the mixture a new stylistic with earlier decorative traditions (Harlow 1973; Harlow and Lammon 2003). These changes include the introduction of realistic floral and animal (mostly bird but may also include deer) elements and intricate and precisely executed geometric images, including intricate cross hatching, that cover the entire vessel including the neck. The volute pattern, common in earlier forms, is still sometimes present but tends to be better and more elaborately executed than in earlier forms. Examples of this type produced during the late nineteenth century, are some of the finest Pueblo pottery produced, reflecting a new artistic freedom represented in the graceful style of designs else well as the production of well formed, thin, and light vessels. The designs are executed along a broad area divided by very thin lines along the rim and above the red slipped undecorated area at the base. The surface of the paste is well polished so that the red band dividing the decorated and base is difficult to discern from the rest of the brown-red surface of the base.

Chapman, Kenneth
1938 The Pueblo Indian Pottery of the Post Spanish Period, General Series Bulletin No. 4, Laboratory of Anthropology of Anthropology, Santa Fe.

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

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

Harlow, Francis H. and Dwight P. Lammon
2003 The Pottery of Zia Pueblo, School of American Research, Santa Fe.

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Zia Polychrome bowl sherd

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Zia Polychrome jar sherd

Zia Polychrome jar sherd

Zia Polychrome jar sherd

Zia Polychrome jar