Black-on-white bowl from Mesa Verde region

Ancestral Pueblo
975-1175 CE
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General Description

Around the bowl interior, four humanlike figures with rounded backs appear to play long flutes. Similar flutes have been recovered through archaeological excavations at sites such as Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon (9th–12th century), depicted in the mural. This ancient hunchbacked fluteplayer may recall an early illustration of either Lelenhoya (“Flute Boy”), a clan symbol, or Maahu, the cicada, who brings warmth to encourage crop growth and abundance.

Excerpt from

Kimberly L. Jones, PhD, Hopi Visions: Journey of the Human Spirit, Label text, 2018.