Image by Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie (Seminole/Muskogee/Dine)

Image by Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie (Seminole/Muskogee/Dine)

I am a natural clay artist. This traditional knowledge of Zuni pottery making has been taught to me by my mother, Josephine who learned from her mother, La Wa tsa.”
— Milford Nahohai

milford nahohai

 

TRIBE: Zuni Pueblo

MEDIUM: Pottery

LOCATION: Zuni, New Mexico

 

2003 COMMUNITY SPIRIT AWARD HONOREE

 

“I am a natural clay artist. This traditional knowledge of Zuni pottery making has been taught to me by my mother, Josephine who learned from her mother, La Wa tsa. The knowledge taught to me includes the prayers in obtaining the clay, the preparation of the clay, the making of the pigments, and the firing process. Utilizing this knowledge and still learning new techniques and ideas and acquiring “new” materials from various people met during my travels in the states and abroad is how I make my pottery today.” – Milford Nahohai

“Milford’s work, which reflects a successful interpretation of past styles and techniques in more modern forms, serves to inspire younger artists to experiment and to discover for themselves inspiration from the past. Milford has always been ready to share his insights and findings with fellow artists and Community members. His avid interest in researching museum collections, talking with “experts,” reading pertinent reports to learn as much as he can and then experimenting to apply this knowledge contributes to the community at multiple levels. Younger artists are encouraged by his example to also “do their own homework,” to discover skills and knowledge that may have been lost, and to apply this in their own work. This indeed ensures that the spirit of the past continues to live on in new contexts.” - Tom Kennedy, nominator