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AWATOVI DREAM

Around 1200 AD two cultures met and began to interact at a crossroads today known as Awatovi. Awatovi is located on Antelope mesa southeast of the Hopi villages at First Mesa. The villages of Hopi in northeastern Arizona are well known today, as are the Katsina ("Kachina") tradition and Nampeyo's revival ceramic traditions using Sikyatki designs. That revival continues in today's Tewa/Hopi community on First Mesa at Hano. In a 1895 America Bureau of Ethnology report on the excavations at Sikyatki (located on First Mesa east of Hano), Jesse Walter Fewkes referred to the Sikyatki ceramics as the finest ceramics in north of Central America. Nampeyo was inspired by the unearthed ceramics of that tradition.

What is not as well known is the culture and tradition of Sikyatki and it's relation to Awatovi and today's Uto-Aztecan speaking Hopi culture. That interaction is recorded in Awatovi kiva murals where the inspiration for this ceramic piece, "AWATOVI DREAM" originated. The Peabody Museum surveyed and published a report on the "Kiva Mural Decorations at Awatovi and Kawaika-a", 1952. In both ancient villages a bowl stacked with flowers appearing as circles with a cross like petal structure has been recorded. Distinctive Sikyatki ceramic designs are recorded side by side with the Katsina traditions. The artist goes on to "tell" a story of "origins and migrations" using the hand, the spiral, "tee door" and 0 B.C. Teotihuacan stamps.

Both Sikyatki and Kawaika-a were occupied with Keres speaking peoples from Laguna, Acoma and the ancient village of "Pottery Mound" in central New Mexico. The cultural tradition they brought to the area is referred to in the literature as the "Flower Culture" distinct from the "Katsina Culture". The mural painting tradition also is very vividly protrayed at Pottery Mound. Sikyatki ceramics are also found at Pottery Mound as well.

It is known that the Coyote Clan was the occupant of Sikyatki. This artist is of the Coyote Clan and is a direct descendant of the peoples of Sikyatki and its traditions. Further this artist has, jointly with the Smithsonian, thoroughly studied and published reports on the Sikyatki ceramic tradition. Today there are few surviving potters of that ceramic tradition. And as a descendant/potter, that is why this artist feels so directly connected with Sikyatki traditions.


Al Qöyawayma
potter/sculptor