This is a hand-coiled snake effigy terra cotta olla made by Dora Quezada who
is the daughter of Consolacion Quezada and the niece of Juan Quezada.
Juan Quezada is the originator of the now famous pottery tradition of Mata Ortiz Pottery. He was the prime innovator and set the standard of excellence other Mata Ortiz potters strive to achieve.
Dora is famous for textured clay utilizing “tejido”, a precise incised design in her pots. Basically she indents the clay all over the olla making the pot look like the clay has been braided. She has accomplished this with this pot by carefully incising a pattern to replicate the coiled snake around the pot. The snake symbolizes water or a water-seeker. Water ollas were made in unglazed terra cotta (which is porous) as watering pots for a garden or planting. The snake would seek out the water through the holes in the neck of the pot.
This pot was made around the mid-1980’s and was acquired at the Santa Fe Indian market. It’s in good condition with no breaks, cracks, or repairs. It has some age toning from being handled and a few marks on the underside. The bamboo ring stand is included as the bottom of the olla is rounded.
Potter: Dora Quezada, Signed on bottom.
Height: 7”; 8” on stand
Width: 9” Round, approximate