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Feather design jar

Helen Naha (1922-1993) is the matriarch in a family of well know Hopi potters. She is a Native American potter from the Hopi Nation, Arizona, United States. She was active from the 1940s until her passing in 1993.

She is the daughter-in-law of Paqua Naha (the first Frog Woman). Helen was married to Paqua’s son Archie. She was mostly self-taught, following the style of her mother-in-law and sister-in-law Joy Navasie (second Frog Woman). Her designs are often based on fragments found at the Awatovi ruins near Hopi. Her hallmark style was finely polished, hand-coiled pottery finished in white slip with black and red decorations. She would often take the extra step to polish the inside of a piece as well as the outside.

She signed her pottery with a feather glyph (shown in inset). This resulted in her being called “Feather Woman” by many collectors. Both of her daughters, Sylvia and Rainy (Rainell), as well as her granddaughter Tyra are well known potters. Today, her medium to larger pots typically sell for several thousand dollars. She has also been recognized by the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts for her body of work through the creation of the Helen Naha Memorial Award - For Excellence in Traditional Hopi Pottery.

See also[]

  • Paqua Naha - aka "Frog Woman" Mother-in-law
  • Joy Navasie - aka "second Frog Woman" Sister-in-law
  • Rainy Naha - Daughter (properly Rainell)
  • Sylvia Naha - Daughter
  • Tyra Naha - Granddaughter


  • Dillingham, Rick. Fourteen Families in Pueblo Pottery. Foreword by J. J. Brody. University of New Mexico Press, (reprint edition) 1994. ISBN 0826314996
  • Schaaf, Gregory. Hopi-Tewa Pottery, 500 Artist Biographies. Edited by Richard M. Howard, CIAC Press, Santa Fe, New Mexico, ISBN 0966694805
  • Graves, Laura. Thomas Varker Keam, Indian Trader. University of Oklahoma Press, 1998. ISBN 080613013X

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