This mid to late 19th century ceramic cup is from the Pima tribe in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. While the Pima are recognized more for their basketry than their ceramic work, this piece demonstrates the cultural importance of their functional pottery. Donated by the Smithsonian Institution to the Wachovia Historical Society in 1905, the cup was likely collected by an early anthropologist working for the Bureau of American Ethnology in the Southwest. After a number of years on loan, the Wachovia Historical Society donated their collection to the MOA in 2005. The cup is the only Pima object in the Museum’s permanent collection.
The cup is the featured object for this year’s Save Our Hide conservation fundraising drive. Click here for more information on the Conservation Fund and how you can help!