The Dr. Samuel R. Poliakoff Collection of Western Art

at the Abbeville County Library System, Abbeville, SC

Jar with Bear Paw Imprints
Jar with Bear Paw Imprints (#104)

Alton Komalestewa, a Hopi-Tewa, was married to the daughter of Helen Shupla of Santa Clara Pueblo and Kenneth Shupla, a Hopi carver. Komalestewa lived with the Shupla family at Santa Clara and learned pottery making from his mother-in-law—thus the resemblance in style to her work. Although he no longer lives at Santa Clara he continues to use clay from clay beds near the pueblo. The bear paw on the pot reminds people of a time of drought when Bear lead people to water.

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