Mary Small, “Kal-la-Tee”, (New Indian Basket), was born into the Jemez Pueblo in 1945 to Seriaco and Perfectita Toya, all members of the Sun Clan. Mary learned the art of traditional pottery making by assisting her mother. Mary was schooled in the “old way” of pottery making, and has mastered the art of processing clay from the earth, hand coiling and then the outdoor firing. Mary and her husband experimented with natural paints to come up with her unique blue/gray slip and burnt red/orange designs. Mary prays to her pots at each stage of the clay process. She was quoted as saying, “When my pottery is finished they are blessed, they have power.” She believes they will bring good luck to all who purchase her pottery. Mary feels that Native Americans have a special responsibility to protect the larger society from its own lack of harmony with nature, and the best way to help is to continue being faithful to their heritage. She is also afraid of changes that may dilute the traditional ways of her people.
The wedding vase has been part of Pueblo life for centuries. The two spouts represent the separate lives of the bride and groom, which are united by the bridge at the top. The groom’s parents provide the wedding vase for use in the ceremony. On the day of the wedding, the vase is filled with holy water and given to the bride. She drinks from one side and the groom drinks from the other. This ceremony is equivalent to the exchanging of wedding bands.
9" Tall, 5" Wide