Etched Terracotta Horse Hair Navajo Wedding Vase
The Wedding Vase is an ancient vessel still used in traditional Native American wedding ceremonies. One spout of the vessel represents the husband; the other, the wife. The looped handle represents the unity they will experience in marriage. The space formed within the loop represents the couples’ own circle of life.
These charming terracotta wedding vases were created by Navajo artist Ariel Benally. Navajo etched pottery is crafted from either red terracotta or white gypsum clay, and hand-painted on a wheel while the clay is still soft. Etched designs are then made in the clay using fine carving tools. After the piece has been fired, the design shows clearly and permanently through.
Horse hair pottery such as this includes an extra step in which hair from the tail and mane of a horse are sprinkled on the pot at just the right moment so that the hair will burn into the pot, forming black lines that give each pot a unique design that cannot be repeated.
- 5.25" tall, approximately 3.5" wide
- Signed by the artist on the bottom
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