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Sylvia Naha
HOPI POTTER

Sylvia Naha, daughter of Feather Woman, first made pottery when she played with the adobe in her father's field below Awatovi. One day, her father plowed up a pot with a swirling geometric design. Since then, it has become a Naha family design. Sylvia paints free hand, using yucca brushes and the butt of a wooden matchstick for stippling. Her mother told her, "Never leave anything out in your design or your process."

Sylvia signs her pottery with a feather and the initial 'S'. "A lot of my designs are in part some of Mom's (Helen Naha), and I just mix them. There are about five designs of hers I use in different ways. Sometimes I used to cover up crooked designs and fit others to it."

"I'm starting to mix my designs with more traditional designs. A lot of people like the animal designs and a lot like the traditional, so I mix them. People like to see a lot of fine-line and others like simplicity. I like to bounce back and forth to make something eye pleasing. I use them to make something someone will like."