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Fannie Polacca Nampeyo

Biography to Display: 

1900 Born First Mesa, Hopi Reservation, Arizona

1987 Died


Fannie Nampeyo’s work included jars, cups and saucers, miniatures and bird effigy bowls. The ground of her pots was yellow with black and red drawings. Other pieces were simply black on yellow. Pieces made solely by Fannie were signed "Fannie Nampeyo" and usually included a drawn corn symbol.

Fannie Nampeyo was born on First Mesa on the Hopi Reservation in Arizona. She was the youngest of the three daughters of Nampeyo. She began making pottery in her early 20s working alongside and learning from her mother. When Nampeyo’s eyesight failed Fannie Nampeyo helped her mother with the painting and decorating and helped with the burnishing which was also done by her father. They produced large numbers of pots each year from 1920 to 1987.  Since Nampeyo could not read or write, early works created by Fannie and her mother were signed simply "Nampeyo" by Fannie. Later Fannie began to sign pieces made together as "Nampeyo Fannie".

Each of Fannie Nampeyo’s seven children completed high school and were taught traditional pottery making techniques by their mother. All seven became well respected makers in their own right.


Bibliography to Display: 

Dillingham, Rick. Fourteen Families in Pueblo Pottery. Santa Fe, MN: University of New Mexico Press, 1994.

Hayes, Allan and John Blom. Southwest Pottery: Anasazi to Zuni. New York, NY: Cooper Square Press, 1996.

Schaaf, Gregory. Hopi-Tewa Pottery, 500 Artist Biographies. Santa Fe, MN: Center for Indigenous Art and Culture Press, 1998.





Typical Marks
Date: 2012
Materials: Earthenware
Method: Coiled
Surface Technique: Polychrome
Crocker Art Museum, Gift of Loren G. Lipson, 2014.1.4
Crocker Art Museum, Gift of Loren G. Lipson, 2014.1.4

Citation: "The Marks Project." Last modified April 13, 2023.