Navajo Pottery

A coating of a combination of piñon and pine pitch is used on Navajo pottery, which makes it distinct from other pueblo and Southwestern pottery. This pitch was traditionally used to seal the pots for carrying water and food. The application technique of the pitch affects the color, which ranges from dark brown to golden brown. A pitch pot is made by dipping a rag-covered stick into boiling pine pitch and painting this pitch all over the pot so that it holds water and has a lovely glossy finish. Some pottery shapes are covered with deerhide for use by medicine men as drums in healing ceremonies. Navajo potters also use the coil method, and sometimes the coils are left visible.