Spirit of the Potters: Revitalization of Cahuilla Pottery
PALM SPRINGS, CA, December 5, 2017 –
Agua Caliente Cultural Museum is pleased to announce its new Exhibition Opening and Holiday Open House on Wednesday
December 13, 2017 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.
Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, 219 South Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262
Objects and artifacts often tell a story. How does the environment influence the raw material that is gathered to create the piece? And, what does the maker of the object have in mind when he or she creates the piece? The spirit of an artifact and an object does not diminish with time, but lives on from the day it is made to the present. Each of these vessels hold a specific meaning for Native peoples who regard them as not solely pieces of artwork, but as “living” objects that were handcrafted by their ancestors a long time ago.
Archaeological evidence of pottery making in Cahuilla territory dates to approximately 900 to 950 years ago. Clay pipes and pottery vessels have been uncovered at Diamond Valley Lake in Hemet. Sherds or pottery fragments have also been found along ancient Lake Cahuilla and other significant sites. These thin, lightweight, earthenware vessels, which primarily consisted of cook pots, bowls, and
ollas (an “olla”, pronounced oy-yah, means “pot” in Spanish), and were used for utilitarian purposes to carry food and water. Due to a number of factors such as land encroachment, modern technology, and contemporary cookware, this tradition was almost lost. It is only recently, since the 1990s, that local artists began the process of revitalizing Cahuilla pottery.
The exhibition features contemporary pottery from a local artist and native of Joshua Tree, Tony Soares (Metis/Azore Island Portuguese), who, along with Cahuilla potter, David Largo, has been leading these revitalization efforts since the 1990s. Pottery from Tony Soares’ students are displayed alongside pieces from the Museum’s collections. This exhibit also includes a hands-on activity for kids along with a special “Kids Corner”.
This exhibition will open in conjunction with the Museum’s
“Holiday Open House” where the public is welcome to visit and mingle with members, guests and the Board of Directors. A special “Members Only” viewing will be from 5:00 to 6:00 pm, and open to the public from 6:00 to 8:00pm. Refreshments will be served.