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Socorro black-on-white storage jar

Ancestral Pueblo, Socorro black-on-white storage jar, c. 1050–100, clay and pigment, made in New Mexico, United States, 38.1 × 43.2 cm (The Metropolitan Museum of Art); speaker: Brian Vallo, Director, Indian Arts Research Center School for Advanced Research, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Created by The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Video transcript

VALLO: This ancestral Pueblo storage jar was made at a time when there was a period of drought and where it was important for the ancestral Pueblo people to begin storing as much foodstuff as they could in anticipation of a drought. Perhaps some corn, beans, dried meats, breads, different berries. They are still used today in some of the Pueblos in New Mexico and in Arizona. Rain and clouds are key to the survival of our people. The potter probably had a prayer for rain. And so clouds would be the black, and then the lines represent rain. What looks like a hand symbol in the center there might be the maker’s signature. In Acoma culture we refer to these pots as kúdíyamunishi. Kúdíyamunishi is a reference to the ancient people, or the original people. So when we utilize and recreate these forms and these designs today, we are paying tribute to our ancestors.