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Karen Abeita, Tewa‐Isleta, Polacca

Biography to Display: 

1960 Born Albuquerque, New Mexico


Karen Abeita is known for her delicately painted surfaces. She works using traditional methods, gathering clay from the Hopi reservation, hand coiling, hand polishing, hand painting and firing outdoors.

Her surface decoration incorporates traditional motifs including bold geometric patterns, katchina figures and the Polik-Mana (Butterfly Maiden). Abeita’s outdoor firing is carefully controlled to achieve her desired surface effects.

Abeita learned pottery techniques from Mark Tahbo, Fawn Navasie, and Rondina Huma. Her work has been recognized at the Santa Fe Indian Market, the Heard Indian Market and at numerous other exhibitions and invitational.


Bibliography to Display: 

Jacka, Jerry D, and Lois E. Jacka. Art of the Hopi: Contemporary Journeys on Ancient Pathways. Flagstaff, Arizona: Northland Pub, 1998.

Jacka, Jerry D, and Lois E. Jacka. Beyond Tradition: Contemporary Indian Art and Its Evolution. Flagstaff, Arizona: Northland Pub, 1988.

Reno, Dawn E. Native American Collectibles: Identification and Price Guide. New York: Avon Books, 1994.

Wade, Edwin L, and Allan Cooke. Canvas of Clay: Seven Centuries of Hopi Ceramic Art. Sedona, Arizona: El Otro Lado, 2012.



Typical Marks
Seed Jar
Form: Jar
Materials: Earthenware
Method: Coiled (Earthenware with eagle tail design.)
Crocker Art Museum, promised gift of Loren G. Lipson, M.D.
Crocker Art Museum, promised gift of Loren G. Lipson, M.D.

Citation: "The Marks Project." Last modified May 13, 2018.