Timothy Edaakie

Zuni Pueblo

Curator Timothy Edaakie (Zuni Pueblo) was a self-employed jeweler, silversmith, and potter. He died in 2020.


Tribal Affiliations:

Artwork Affiliations:

Timothy chose the following for the Grounded in Clay exhibit:

Zuni stew bowl

Zuni wolaya sa’leh (stew bowl)
c. 1890
Clay and paint
7 x 14½ in. (17.8 x 36.8 cm)
Collection School for Advanced Research

Zuni wolaya sa’leh

I chose this piece because of the unique geometric design of the interior. Typical Zuni designs feature deer, rosettes, scrolls, and feather motifs. I feel the potter was inspired by lightning, and sought to replicate the way it streaks across the summer sky, bringing the blessings of rain for our crops. I noticed that the rim incorporates a black-and-white zigzag pattern, which may also represent lightning. The use of black and white in my culture represents the upper world. I have never before seen a stew bowl painted with a geometric lightning design. The red triangles on the rim may represent butterflies.

Timothy Edaakie | Zuni

Note: Several months after selecting this piece, and before he could finish writing about it, Tim Edaakie was diagnosed with cancer; a few months later, he passed away. While his family is famous for its silverwork, Tim was drawn to making pottery, a skill he first learned from Gabriel Paloma at Zuni High School. Tim sought advice and traditional knowledge from other potters, including Randy Nahohai. His passion was to preserve ancient Zuni pottery techniques and designs, and he thoroughly researched each piece he created. He had participated in an archaeological dig in high school, and brought an expansive knowledge of the past to his pottery. By incorporating ground potsherds into his clay, Tim allowed ancient Zuni potters to contribute to every one of his pieces, and thus he connected the past with the present. Even though Tim’s road through life has now ended, his creative spirit continues to thrive through the art and pottery he left us. Perhaps one day another Zuni potter will continue Tim’s legacy by incorporating pieces of his pottery into their vessels. That would make him smile.

Craig Haneke and Patricia Crown | Friends of Tim