Michelle Lowden

Acoma Pueblo


Curator Michelle Lowden is the founder and owner of Milo Creations, a company that has grown from creating Acoma-influenced jewelry to offering such products as wool blankets, silk scarves, and graphic work. She is a daughter of the Bear Clan, passed down from her mother, Roberta Charlie, and of the Yellow Corn Clan, passed down from her father, Aaron Lowden. She is fortunate to call her ancestral home, the Pueblo of Acoma (known as Haak’u in Keres), her current home.


Tribal Affiliations:

Artwork Affiliations:

Michelle chose the following for the Grounded in Clay exhibit:

Carrie Chino Charlie water jar

Carrie Chino Charlie | Acoma
Water jar
c. 1985
Clay and paint
8½ x 10½ in. (21.6 x 26.7 cm)
Collection School for Advanced Research

Finding My Way

When you touch one part of the design on this beautiful jar created by my grandmother, you touch the whole. For me, this design reflects the way in which we are all interconnected.

It all begins by planting kashéeshi (white corn), and then nurturing, harvesting, and grinding it. We then make the journey to the clay mines and place an offering of cornmeal as a way of asking permission from our Clay Mother before we harvest the clay. It is often forgotten that we merely borrow these elements from Mother Earth, in the same way that we are all only on borrowed time. I feel my grandmother’s presence when I hold this jar that she created years ago. The pottery is still infused with her energy. It was a humbling moment to let the pottery breathe again, as pots are beings and need to breathe as we do. I treasured the opportunity to say, I still see you, Daa’ow,¹ we still see you. It brought me to tears, remembering my grandmother’s hands molding the clay and painting each intricate line. For a moment, my hands lay in hers.

1 Keres female term for “grandmother.”