6.5 x 30 x 1.5 in.
2 available / 35
When I was first beginning to make pottery under my mother’s and grandmother’s guidance, I was taught the tribal designs that have been used on Pueblo pottery throughout the centuries. These designs have been passed down from one generation to the next. One of these designs is called Avanyu, named for the plumed serpent that serves as the mythological water deity sacred to my people.
When my grandmother, Mary, was a young girl, she accompanied her grandparents on a trip to Taos to sell pottery. They left the village of Santa Clara in a horse-drawn wagon and headed north along the Rio Grande. Along the way, Mary gazed at the river and to her amazement she saw the Avanyu undulating in the current. Her grandparents told her that legend had it that to see this was a blessing and it meant that she would live a good long life.
The Avanyu is the guardian of water. Its design embodies the clouds, rain, lightning, rainbows, and all bodies of water. Its story signifies that people must respect our water so that it sustains all life. I have been using this design on my pottery for over 30 years. One day I thought to myself, How would the Avanyu look if it slithered off one of my pots? This sculpture is the result of that moment of imagination.