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Pot with Arrowhead and Tomahawk

ca. 1988 Lorenzo Spencer fired clay with piƱon pitch 14 3/4 x 8 5/8 x 8 in. (37.5 x 21.9 x 20.3 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Chuck and Jan Rosenak and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson 1997.124.174 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 28B


Luce Center Label

The design of this piece is similar to that of a traditional Navajo wedding vase, with two openings joined by a handle. The arrowhead and tomahawk in the decoration, however, suggest it was not made to celebrate a wedding, but to commemorate or inspire bravery. In Navajo symbolism, an arrowhead stands for alertness, while a tomahawk represents war.

Keywords

Object - weapon - axe

Object - weapon - bow and arrow

decorative arts - ceramic

folk art

clay