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Santo Domingo (Kewa)

Santo Domingo Pueblo (called Kewa Pueblo since 2009) is situated between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico and is one of the largest of the northern Pueblos. The natural clay at Kewa is quite elastic and lends itself to larger pieces. Traditional designs are bold geometrics where the negative space plays a prominent role. Other traditional designs incorporate abstract floral, animal and figurative motifs. Coloration is equally bold, commonly a combination of black and orange with a cream slip over the buff-colored clay. Traditional pottery techniques involve first digging the clay out of the ground, mixing it with water and sifting out impurities then letting the sifted clay dry to a working state. The pottery is coiled by hand and smoothed. A clay slip (a paintable mixture of highly refined clay and water) is applied and decoration with natural pigments follows. The pottery is allowed to dry and then fired outside in a hand dug pit using available materials.
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