JoAnn Axford on tue 12 aug 97
While exploring burnished pottery, I have found a Navajo form called the
double spouted wedding vase. The form is rounded on the bottom, with two
spouts coming out of the top, the spouts are joined at the top with a handle.
I would appreciate any information about the function of this pot in a
Navajo wedding ceremony. Thanks in advance, JoAnn Axford
Ernesto Burciaga on thu 14 aug 97
I'm not sure about the wedding use but they are slip cast by the
thousands and sold all over the southwesrt.
Sylvia C. Shirley on fri 15 aug 97
In the book Santa Clara Pottery Today, by Betty LeFree, she tells about the
wedding vase as it relates to the Santa Clara Indians (not the Navajo).
She said that the shape may have been originated by a trader at the
Original Curio Shop in Santa Fe in the early 1900's. (Is it possible that
the shape - and maybe the tradition - was borrowed from the Navajo?)
Anyway, this is what she said about the tradition surrounding the vase:
Thd godmother of the man to be married makes the vase, and fills it with
water which has had "holy" stones dipped in it. On the reception day (the
day the girl is to be "received" the godmother and godfather lead a
procession of the boy's relatives to the home of the girl. The groom is
the last in line, and stands at the door until the gifts are received and
opened by the girl. Then the bride and groom kneel in the middle of the
room and their relatives pray all around them. The godmother places the
wedding vase in front of the couple, and the bride drinks from one side and
the groom drinks from the other. Then the vase is passed around to all in
the room, men drinking from one side and women from the other. After the
drinking of the holy water, they set a date for the actual wedding, where
the vase is again passed around. After the wedding is done, the vase is
given to the couple as a good luck piece.
About the construction of the vase, this is what she said:
The vessel is sphereoid or ovaloid, it always has a double spout with a
stirrup handle joining the spouts. Decorative treatment includes vertical
impressions on the body, and after 1903 the bear paw impression was common.
They range in height from 11" to 16", and the diameter of the body ranges
from 7" to 11". The bases are mostly flat.
The book is published by the University of New Mexico Press, in 1975.
I hope this helps.
> ----------------------------Original message----------------------------
> While exploring burnished pottery, I have found a Navajo form called the
> double spouted wedding vase. The form is rounded on the bottom, with two
> spouts coming out of the top, the spouts are joined at the top with a handle.
> I would appreciate any information about the function of this pot in a
> Navajo wedding ceremony. Thanks in advance, JoAnn Axford