Silver Woman with Shard
The Hohokam (/hoʊhoʊˈkɑːm/) were an ancient Native American culture centered on the present-US state of Arizona. The Hohokam are one of the four major cultures of the American Southwest and Northern Mexico in Southwestern archaeology. Considered part of the Oasisamerica tradition, the Hohokam established significant trading centers such as at Snaketown and are considered to be the builders of the original canal system around the Phoenix metropolitan area, which the Mormon pioneers rebuilt when they settled the Lehi area of Mesa near Red Mountain.
Hohokam pottery tends to be constructed of buff or light brown clay, and are constructed using the paddle-and-anvil technique. These are often decorated with red geometric designs, usually banded or allover patterns of repeated small motifs. All Hohokam pottery was baked in open, wood fires. They did not have kilns. Because of the uneven temperatures of an open fire, pottery was sometimes unintentionally blackened or overheated in places. The most skilled potters could either avoid the blackening and burning or were able to turn the resulting marks on the vessels into patterns. Sometimes vessels were intentionally blackened or smudged, usually on the interior of bowls. After firing, Tucson Basin pottery was usually brown or had red designs on a light brown to black background. Designs and decorative styles changed subtly through time, but decoration of Hohokam pottery was usually free-flowing and dynamic. Hatchured drawings of snakes, chevrons, and scrolls, as well as negative designs of lizards and other animals.