one day at a time…
Monday, 12 July 2004

Anazazi Primitive Pottery Primer
CREDIT: © Dennis B. Zupan/SURWEB.org special presentation
WHERE: desert southwest USA. WHAT: primitive pottery class.
MAP: Four Corners. Thumbnail click pops-up special presentation.

Pottery Class © Dennis B. ZupanThe Anazazi [1][2] were a people who, around the time of Jesus of Nazareth, occupied the Four Corners region (the place where uniquely in the modern United States four states are conjoined; Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah). 'Anazazi' is a Navajo word, meaning 'The Ancient Ones'. The Black Hawk Tours web site operating as Blanding.net has an introduction to Anazazi culture in the form of a captioned slide show. It is thought that these people, driven by drought, migrated southward into what are now the southern Pueblo cultures. They left behind them abandoned dwellings and other artifacts that have survived undisturbed in the dry desert air, forming a record of the civilization.

Developing from a basket weaving culture to become stone masons and potters, many of the Anazazi artistic creations have a dignified, simple beauty. It seems that the ancient cultures of the place somewhat oddly called the New World, which were overwhelmed by the tsunami of Euroamerican culture after the voyage of Columbus, are now attracting more interest and respect. There can be few better ways to explore and understand a culture than to recreate its day to day life and art.

The SURWEB.org [State of Utah Resource Web] project has a mission "…to address discrepancies in educational opportunities for Utah students who may be poor, rural, or from culturally disenfranchised communities." One of the resources provided by the project is a slide show that records the progress of a primitive pottery class directed by Dennis B. Zupan. If the show defaults to loading images without captions, then click the •Image & Text• command in the green menubar at the top of the page. Clicking on any of the pictures will switch back and forth between view modes, with larger pictures in the individual cell views.

The full presentation runs from setting up, through potting, painting, and fire-pit 'kiln' building: supposing that some visitors may like to 'fast track' (or that other irritating buzz phrase 'cut to the chase'), we have provided five individual cells showing the class members [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] achievements. Looking at these objects we reflected that perhaps 'simple infrastructure', and 'low environmental impact' were perhaps better words than 'primitive' for describing the work of the Anazazi potters.

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Jules Laforgue (1860-1887)
"Ah! que la vie est quotidienne."
Oh, what a day-to-day business life is.
'Complainte sur certains ennuis' (1885)