Heritage, Volume 10, Number 3, Summer 1992 Page: 27
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to the 20th century. Due to the nature of
the book and the research interests of the
author, the coverage is uneven.
Before talking about the specific ceramic
traditions, Peckham begins by setting
the context of ceramic and archaeological
studies within New Mexico. He
briefly discusses such topics as the nature of
ceramic traditions, the history of archaeological
research in New Mexico, the derivation
of the word Anasazi, the identification
of more than 30 ceramic provinces, the
regional cultural chronology, and he notes
the seminal role played by Harry P. Mera.
Peckham indicates that ceramics entered
the Southwest from further south in
the first centuries of the Christian era via
the Pacific Coast, to give birth to the
Hohokam tradition, and up the east side of
the Sierra Madre mountains, to give birth
to the Mogollon tradition of bown, or utility
wares. After 600 A.D. the inventory
expanded to include the Mogoloon redon-brown
and early Mimbres black-onwhite
traditions that developed and flourished
until about 1150/1200 A.D. Before
passing on to the historic period ceramics,
Peckham briefly mentions the El Paso series
and the Casas Grandes tradition.
In northern New Mexico, Peckham
identifies "Lino gray" as the basis of the
Anasazi Utility tradition that in turn provides
the basis for the subsequent development
of such painted pottery traditions as
Anasazi Mineral Paint, Anasazi Vegetal
Paint, Redware, and Glazed Paint, among
others. Peckham considers these traditions
at some length without getting bogged down
in specific details.
The text of the section on post-contact
Pueblo pottery is quite brief, but provides a
minimal outline of the historical context
and an interesting supplement to Harry P.
Mera's classic "Style Trends of Pueblo Pottery:
1500-1840," reviewed above. While
there are other books that provide greater
depth on individual traditions and ceramics,
"From this Earth" is an adequate introduction
for the non-specialist.
The Story of Casas Grandes
Rick Cahill, Boojum Books, Tucson
Rick Cahill presents a most delightful
introduction to the modern pottery pro
duced in northern Chihuahua that is
inspired by the pre-Hispanic Casas
Grandes tradition. He discusses how this
"revival" tradition got started, along with
the roles played by some of the major and
minor figures in the community of Mata
Ortiz, and amply illustrates the story.
Wait a minute! You say you didn't
know that there was any collectors' quality
pottery being made in northern
Mexico? Well, let's go back to the beginning
of the story. Prior to the arrival of
the Spaniards, Paquime, Casas Grandes,
was a major urban center in what is now
northwestern Chihuahua. According to
Charles Di Peso, the archaeologist who
excavated in Paquime between 1958 and
1961, it was famous for breeding and
exporting macaws, manufacturing copper
items, and as a major religious center.
Today it is famous for its multi-story
rammed-earth architecture, "T-shaped"
doorways, high quality polychrome pots,
and as the Southwestern window on
After the fall of Paquime in the 15th
century, the story jumps about 500 years
and 20 kilometers to a railway worker
living in a village to the south of the ruins.
His name is Juan
Quezada, and he
lives in Mata
by what he saw '
in the country,
as a young man
to teach himself
how to make,
fire, and decorate
pots. In the t
high quality of
his work attracted
of an Crest
anthropology of it all.
student, Spen- Town I
who began to withi\
p r o m o t e Austin'
Quezada's work scene
in the United your i
States. Since at
worked with a
number of different
and obtained I A U S T I N ' S
reputation that includes shows in the U.S.
and Japan as well as sales all around the world.
Juan Quezada has taught many members
of his family to be potters. Their artistic and
economic successes have motivated other
people in Mata Ortiz to take up potting.
With more than 80 families involved in the
trade, pottery has become the economic
mainstay of the village. The overall quality
has remained high, and the better potters
sign their work.
Cahill's account of the Quezada family
interpolates details about the regional archaeology
and history along with a discussion
of the design motifs and the process of selecting,
forming, firing, and painting the clay. It is
first and foremost, however, a narrative of the
potters of Mata Ortiz. For those who wish to
visit Mata Ortiz and see the pottery firsthand,
Cahill provides maps and general directions.
While there are other books on Juan Quezada
and the Mata Ortiz pottery, they are mostly
limited to catalogue presentations of specific
shows. This book provides the general introduction
that has been needed for so long.
John Peterson, an archaeologist, is the book
review editor for HERITAGE.
HERITAGE * SUMMER 1992 27
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 10, Number 3, Summer 1992, periodical, Summer 1992; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45419/m1/27/: accessed August 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.