Mimbres Historical Vessel

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Along the southwestern New Mexico Rio Mimbres (Mimbres River), an ancient Native American people lived in relative isolation from A.D. 750 to A.D. 1150. By A.D. 1000, the Mimbres Valley of southwestern New Mexico (near present-day Silver City, New Mexico) had its own distinct culture, and as Hayes (1996) believes, it is the only culture in this desert region, prehistoric or modern, known for its art and little else.
Hayes goes on to explain that Mimbres pottery was the thinnest and most elegantly painted pottery in Southwestern United States prehistory. The history of Mimbres pottery places it as a descendant of Hohokam pottery; however, Mimbres is the only prehistory pottery that celebrated and emphasized life forms. While Hohokam pottery occasionally had painted images of animals or humans, Mimbres focused on the use of life form imagery. (2006, p. 34) Many designs depicting figures are beautifully portrayed while the figure itself bears an unfriendly demeanor, which Brody identifies as being “quintessentially Mimbres.” (1983, p. 45) Additionally, while most pottery in the region had a tradition of red on brown, the Mimbres found a way to make white pottery with black pigmented decoration using incredibly fine lines.
Lekson (2005) states that while “[Mimbres] pottery itself was not technically remarkable (hand-formed, indifferently finished earthenware),” the black pigmented designs on the white slipped interiors appeal to modern tastes, which is why he views the Mimbres Black-on-white pottery to be the “most appealing, intriguing, and recognizable Native artistic tradition of North America.” (p. 291) Pottery created between A.D. 750 and A.D. 1000 have been classified as being Mimbres Boldface Black-on-white. Items created between A.D. 1000 and A.D. 1150 have been classified as Mimbres Classic Black-on-white. (Brody, 1983, p. 45) The precision and craftsmanship
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