Books That Celebrate Indigenous Culture: ‘Spoken Through Clay’

Here is what's on our list of reads that celebrate Indigenous culture and are about learning Indian Country’s rich history and heritage.

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SPOKEN THROUGH CLAY

By Eldon Yellowhorn & Kathy Lowinger

Immerse yourself into the indigenous pottery world with Spoken Through Clay (Museum of New Mexico Press, $125). This book showcases nearly three hundred pottery vessels of iconic Native American artists from historic potters Nampeyo and Maria Martinez, to contemporary potters Tammy Garcia, Virgil Ortiz, and many others, from the acclaimed Eric S. Dobkin Collection covering a wide range of mostly Pueblo artists from the Southwest. “The physical scale of the vessels combined with the depth of the contemporary collection [is] breathtaking,” says author Charles S. King. The book is part of a “transitional process of looking to the clay, the vessel, and the potter’s voice and allowing the pieces to stand on the merit of their artistic integrity.” The book includes portraits and voices of renowned potters speaking about their artistry and technique, families, culture, and traditions. Many of the artists are connected by Pueblos, generations, or family members. Dynamic color photography captures the depth and dimension of the pieces, while the artists provide an illuminating perspective through narrative captions. Artists, academics, collectors, family members, and gallerists add additional insight about the lives, historical context, and importance of these potters and their work.

Spoken Through Clay launched during Santa Fe Indian Market, the largest and most prestigious juried Native arts show in the world, in August 2017.

FEATURED ARTISTS

Grace Medicine Flower • Dextra Quotskuyva • Autumn Borts-Medlock • Jody Naranjo • Harrison Begay Jr. • Jordan Roller • Sara Fina Tafoya • Lonnie Vigil • Margaret Tafoya • Steve Lucas • LuAnn Tafoya • Loren Ami • Toni Roller • Popovi Da • Linda Tafoya-Sanchez • Mark Tahbo • James Ebelacker• Yvonne Lucas • Jeff Roller • Lisa Holt • Harlan Reano • Nampeyo • Jacquie Stevens • Nathan Youngblood • Jacob Koopee Jr. • Jennifer Moquino • Christopher Youngblood • Maria Martinez • Tony Da • Tammy Garcia • Virgil Ortiz • Joseph Lonewolf • Johnathan Naranjo • Nancy Youngblood • Les Namingha • Russell Sanchez • Christine McHorse • Richard Zane Smith • Rondina Huma • Susan Folwell • Dominique Toya • Jody  Folwell

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Charles S. King is the author of Born of Fire: The Life and Pottery of Margaret Tafoya, The Life and Art of Tony Da, Virgil Ortiz: Revolt 1680/2180, and numerous articles on Pueblo pottery. He has served on boards of art associations, judged pottery at prestigious events, and lectures about the art form. His business King Galleries represents many of today’s leading Native potters and important historic works in clay. Charles lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Eric S. Dobkin was a long serving partner and managing director of Goldman Sachs spanning a 49-year career at the firm. He has served on numerous corporate and philanthropic boards and is a trustee of the Dobkin Family Foundation. Eric and his wife Barbara reside in Pound Ridge and Manhattan, New York.

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Native Max is a brand and publication which features positive talents and stories of indigenous peoples of Indian Country.

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