Ancestral Pueblo: Southern Colorado Plateau (Anasazi)Central AnasaziChuskaChuska White Ware (Organic Paint)

Ware Name: Chuska White Ware (Organic Paint)

First posted by C. Dean Wilson 2014

Chuska tradition white ware ceramics include a distinct series exhibiting decorations in organic paint (Windes 1977). Pottery types assigned to this series consists of several forms that resemble but are not completely equivalent to contemporaneous pottery assigned to the Tusayan tradition. While the earliest types are not slipped, later forms exhibit a thin streaky white slip over a very fine and hard grayish blue paste. Earlier Chuska white ware types tend to be solely tempered with trachyte while later types exhibit a combination trachyte and sherd. The paste clay consistently fires to a dark red color similar to that noted for most Chuska gray wares when exposed to an oxidizing atmosphere while the slip fires to a cream to yellow color. The contrast between paste and slip is obvious and distinct in both natural and oxidized examples and is dramatic. Painted decorations are commonly decorated with a consistently well-executed black to purple black organic paint. The effect of the black paint over the white slip is often striking and similar to that noted for Tusayan wares. While earlier organic painted types tend to resemble Tusayan types, types produced during the Pueblo III period tend to resemble Northern San Juan wares. Because organic painted white wares continued to have been utilized in the production of white wares in the Chuska Valley into the late Pueblo III period, they reflect a slightly longer sequence of production than the mineral painted white ware produced in the Chuska Valley.

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