While the Hopi have legends of “The Red City”; Palatkwapi, that was abandoned, and pueblo ruins can be found all across Southeast Arizona, no one knows exactly why this area was abandoned. The fact is that in 1400 this area contained many thriving pueblos that were vibrant with trade and craft production, representing several different local cultures, but by the time Coronado arrived here in 1540 it was all gone. Something happened and the southern pueblos were abandoned, their inhabitants moved on, no doubt many went to the north to live with the Hopi and Zuni as the legends relate, possibly some went to the south or east, but wherever they went, their way of life changed when they left here and the pottery types they had made for hundreds of years ceased to be made.
In prehistoric times Southern Arizona was a crossroads of many different cultures, I create pottery representing the three lost pueblo cultures that existed in this area, they are:
Arriving in this area around 1300 from the north, the Salado lived in pueblo compounds, usually of adobe, and are famous for their fine polychrome potteries and weavings. I have reproduced several varieties of Saladoan wares including Gila, Tonto and Tucson Polychromes.
Hohokam culture began to appear in this area around 100 AD and flourished here until around 1400 when it mysteriously disappeared. They were well known for their irrigation systems that were among the most elaborate in the world at that time. The pottery produced by the Hohokam was usually red on buff or red on brown and often including figures of lizards and birds. In the far Southern Arizona they made a unique type of pottery called Bobocomari Polychrome with red and black designs on white, mica flecked clay.
The Mogollon were some of the original inhabitants of this area and some of the first to produce pottery in the Southwest. The pottery they produced in Southeast Arizona was usually simple red on brown and some red on white, but their geometric designs are striking.
My pottery is true in every way to the legacy of these ancient cultures, it is among the most traditional of any southwest pottery being made today. All tools and materials used in the construction of the pottery are exactly like those used in prehistoric times.