Shaping the clay: Pueblo pottery, cultural sponsorship and regional identity in New Mexico.
AuthorDauber, Kenneth Wayne.
Committee ChairPowell, Walter
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractTaste--an appreciation for some things, a disdain for others--is usually understood by sociologists as playing a key role in struggles for position within closed, hierarchical status systems. Yet taste that reaches across cultural and social boundaries is a common phenomenon in a world of mobility and falling barriers to travel and access. This study argues that this expression of taste also has a political dimension, through an examination of the sponsorship of traditional Pueblo Indian pottery by Anglo newcomers to northern New Mexico in the 1920s and 1930s. The organization that these newcomers founded, the Indian Arts Fund, played an important role in building a differentiated market for Pueblo pottery, supported by an increasingly complex body of knowledge and evaluation. This intervention into the market for pottery, and into the definition of Pueblo culture, served to insert the Indian Arts Fund's members into regional society, against the resistance of older, more established elites. A visible association with Pueblo pottery linked newcomers to the transformation of the regional economy by tourism, which had shifted the source of value in northern New Mexico from natural resources to the marketing of particularity and difference. An examination of the role of pottery production, and income from pottery, in Pueblo communities reveals that the relationship between pottery and Pueblo culture was more complex, and more tangential, than the image that was being constructed in the context of the market.