Owl Figure

About this object


Pottery owls became important tourist items when the railroad and then Route 66 allowed for large numbers of tourists to travel to the Southwest. This collection of 192 Zuni pottery owls includes examples from before 1900 through 2006. Zuni potters continue to make owls and family traditions in the medium continue. While many younger potters are innovating, the owls are distinctly Zuni.

Iconographic meaning

In traditional Zuni lore, the owl is considered a wise guardian and protector. An owl’s ability to see at night means that it sees what others cannot, giving it understanding of the spiritual and physical world.

Physical description

Modern hand made owl has ornate details hand painted in black on to the low-fired orange clay with iridescent particles. Wings and tail are joined and form a slanting triangle around the egg-shaped body. Raised lizards, with red and white spots and long curving toes. crawl across front and back, a dragonfly lies on top of the left wing and small loop beak with fringes at both bases protrudes from beneath flowery eyes.