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Pottery making is one of the most enduring Native American traditions. The Southwest Indian women who create these sacred vessels preserve a centuries-old tradition while paving the way for contemporary artists. Set against the breathtaking landscape of the American Southwest, The Legacy of Generations: Pottery by American Indian Women showcases the art of these master potters. A visit with 92-year-old Margaret Tafoya, her daughter, niece, and grandniece reveals how their craft is passed down through matrilineal lines. Viewers also meet poet and avant-garde potter Nora Naranjo-Morse and explore how Native American artists balance their heritage with their modern identities. Narrated by Native American performer Buffy Sainte-Marie (Cree), this captivating program blends stories, songs, and archival footage that reflect Native history and culture.
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This half-hour production of the PBS affiliate WETA (narrated by Buffy Sainte-Marie) captures the beauty of the pottery made by Native American women of the Southwest. Originally used by the Pueblo people as vessels for food and water, their pottery became collector's items when their remarkable artistry and individual styles were recognized. Excellent examples of pottery spanning several generations were exhibited at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. Twenty-eight remarkable women artists were also honored by the museum; each developed her own style and used different types of clay. In addition to watching these women craft their pottery, narration about their sources of inspiration and cultural lore add to a greater understanding of the artistic process. Particularly awe-inspiring are scenes of the actual firing of an exquisite piece. --Anne Barclay Morgan
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