Message #200:
From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG
To:   "'Matthias Giessler'" 
Subject: Internet Pueblo Pottery Exhibition
Date: Wed, 28 May 1997 12:40:46 -0700

From: David S. Carter 

The Internet Public Library (IPL), a project based at the University of
Michigan School of Information, is pleased to announce the release of a new
exhibition: "Pueblo Pottery" (a href=> The
exhibition displays a wide range of Native American Pueblo pottery from the
Southwestern United States. One of the most exciting features of the
exhibition is that museum quality pieces from diverse collections are
brought together and reorganized to facilitate learning.  Though no special
software or "plug-ins" are required for viewing, the exhibition allows the
viewer to see a self advancing slide show, full screen, full color images
and detailed descriptions. A glossary, bibliography and "classroom" offer
opportunities for users to learn more. Lawrence Frank, author of "Historic
Pottery of the Pueblo Indians, 1600-1880," provided assistance and
permission to use elements of his book in the exhibition. 

The Internet Public Library is a project based at the University of
Michigan School of Information, partially supported by a grant from the
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The library began as a graduate student
project in 1995, and is now staffed by professional librarians with
assistance from students and volunteer librarians from around the World.
The library maintains a collection of network-based ready reference works;
responds to reference queries, creates resources for children and young
adults; evaluates and categorizes resources on the Internet, and provides
a space for exhibitions. The library strives to be a source of innovation
in the networked environment, seeking partnerships with organizations with
compatible goals.

" Historic Pueblo pottery is the least abundantly preserved of all
Southwestern pottery and consequently the most difficult to study. Because
of the extreme difficulty of importing ceramic wares to the rugged
Southewestern frontier, the early Spaniards were forced to use Pueblo
pottery to carry out their daily chores. They found it satifactory for
domestic purposes but apparently saw little artistic or aesthetic merit in
it, hence no collections were made. The collision of the Spaniards and the
American Pueblo Indians resulted not only in significant restriction in the
usage of pottery but also in the disappearance of most of the pottery in
the two hundred years of the Historic period. Owing to the orthodoxy of
Church       authorities, Pueblo Indians were refused the right to bury
pottery with their dead in accordance with ancient custom. Instead they
were forced to have Christian burials in cemeteries. Consequently, there
are almost no Historic vessels preserved in the relative security of old
graves....The significance of the Spanish ban on burial of pottery with
Indian dead       cannot be over emphasized. It is likely that all
Prehistoric pottery had some religious aspects, as its burial signifies.
But when burial pottery was prohibited, the Pueblo Indians were forced to
concentrate on making pottery exclusively for utilitarian purposes such as
storage of grain and water, cooking, etc., while only a small number of
vessels were created - in secrecy - for strictly ceremonial use... "

[ SASIG Ed. Note -- See also Traditional Acoma Pottery at ]