painting_-_acrylic_22buffalo_hunt_22_by_dean_haungooah_oadeh23-05Buffalo Hunt

Dean Haungooah has a unique Native background. His father, Art Cody (Haungooah), was a Kiowa/ Comanche who moved to New Mexico and married Martha Suazo, a Santa Clara potter.

She encouraged him to decorate her pottery with his art, and later he made his own miniature pots. He and Joseph Lonewolf were the two people responsible for the popularity of the sgraffito style of Pueblo pottery.



Sgrafitto Pot

Art was killed in an automobile accident when Dean was 13. His mother had passed earlier. He lived with his Pueblo relatives, struggling as many young people do. At 18, he started making pottery with his maternal grandfather. It sparked his creativity and led to his acceptance into the Institute of American Indian Art.


FishMiniature Acrylic Painting

“I used to do some painting for fun with other students,” he recalled, “but I majored in 3D and sculptural art.” He followed his father’s lead, specializing in etching miniature pottery.

He married Brenda, a Navajo school teacher, and the two of them live on the Navajo reservation near Kayenta, Arizona.

During the pandemic, he could not get clay from Santa Clara and won’t work in clay from any other source. So he began to paint.

During this time, we got to know this creative and talented artist. He could drive on state and federal highways (Navajo Nation roads were closed unless you were going to a job), and he took Highway 160 to Durango with his paintings.



Initially, they were small, incorporating many of the designs he did in his pottery. They were well received. Over the next couple of years, they became more intricate and larger. Watching him grow as an artist has been a lot of fun.

When he could get clay from Santa Clara, he returned to making sgraffito pottery but decided to continue his painting.

Recently, he called and said, “Jackson, I decided that my paintings are all based on Pueblo designs, and  I want to do a painting in the plains style, something from that side of my family.”

It was a tribute to his grandfather, “Silver Horn.” Haungooah translates to “Sunlight Reflecting off of Buffalo Horn” in Kiowa. His grandfather was a famous medicine man known for his ledger drawings.

See all Dean Haungooah Art in the Gallery

This painting can be considered a contemporary version of a ledger drawing, a young warrior pursuing a Buffalo, an artist telling the story of the hunt.

From his pottery to the easel, this man creates beautiful work.