Posted 6 years ago
This item was located in a junk store in Newark, NJ.
I believe it to be an antique Zuni effigy clay owl pot, circa 1920.
The item measures about 9 inches in height. It is unsigned, but attributed to Mayra Eriacho.
It is in excellent condition, noting the rejoining of a smaller owl.
I have been in search of contemporary owl effigies every since I saw several from Zuni illustrated in the James Stevenson's 1879 report to the Smithson Ian Institute.
In most Indian tribes, owl's are symbols of death. Hearing an owl hooting is considered a an unlucky omen and they are subject to numerous bogeyman stories told to warn children to stay in at night and not to cry otherwise they will be carried away.
In other tribes, the owl's are associated with ghost and the bony circles around the eyes are said to be made by ghost. Sometimes the owl's are said to carry messages from beyond the graves and deliver messages to people who have broken tribal taboos.