Pit Firing on Monday

Set out from my Santa Fe motel to visit the Plaza, and managed to end up on Museum Hill at the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian by being thoroughly lost. Amazingly, the Wheelwright is the only museum open on Mondays, and nobody's there. The Wheelwright is displaying pottery by the women of the Zia Pueblo. When I ask the woman at the desk about how the giant storage pots were fired, she launches into a history of the museum and explanation of its Navajo construction with cribbed roof beams. A docent walks up, and next thing I know I'm on a private tour of the exhibit! The docent's name is Nancy, too. Nancy Jane, not Nancy Louise...

I like the way rainbow curves swoop around the contours of the Zia storage pots. The pots have many linear interpretations of birds and feathers. My favorite is a roadrunner pot. The docent points out pots made in the 1920's that were influenced by Howard Carter's discovery of King Tut's tomb. "Walk this way", the birds seem to say.

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