H x 3 3/4" D
Rachel Sahmie Nampeyo was
born to Priscilla Namingha Nampeyo and Donnelly Sahmie in 1956.
She grew up in the village of Polacca at the foot of Hopi First
Mesa, surrounded by some of the finest traditional potters in
the Hopi mesas. Growing up watching her mother make pottery,
Rachel learned a lot.
She has been an active potter
since about 1970. She has seven siblings, all of whom are potters
or Katsina doll carvers. Her brothers and sisters are Nyla Sahmie,
Jean Sahme, Bonnie Chapella, Randall Sahmie, Andrew Sahmie, Foster
Sahmie and Finkle Sahmie. Rachel has one daughter, Carla Moreno,
and two grandchildren, Sean Michael and Madison.
Rachel specializes in the
Sikyátki Revival shapes and designs brought back into
popularity by her great-grandmother, Nampeyo of Hano. There was
a time in her early twenties when Rachel experimented with more
contemporary shapes and designs for her pottery but it "didn't
have the same feel," and she returned to using the traditional
designs of her great-grandmother. She has also created pieces
decorated with Anasazi corrugations.
Rachel is an accomplished
potter with works on display in places like The Museum of Indian
Arts and Culture in Santa Fe and the Heard Museum in Phoenix.
She has often participated in shows at the Heard Museum, the
Tuhisma Hopi Arts and Crafts Market in Kykotsmovi, AZ, and the
SWAIA Santa Fe Indian Market, earning her a number of 1st, 2nd
and 3rd Place ribbons. Her favorite shapes to make are tiles
and Sikyátki-style pots. Her favorite designs always have
bird elements in them.
Rachel says she often gets
inspired simply by hiking through the ruins of Sikyátki
and studying the pot shards she finds strewn on the ground there.
She would like the world to know she loves making pottery so
much that she'd keep on making it long after folks stopped buying
it. However, if Rachel is not busy making pottery on any particular
day, she's probably gone fishing somewhere.