Blackware with turquoise inlay

Seed Jar with Spider and Lightning Motifs, late 20th century. Nana-kaa ("Aspen Leaves") (aka Judith Gutierrez Harvier and Andrew Harvier), (Judith: Tewa, Khapo [Santa Clara Pueblo] and Posuwaegeh [Pojoaque Pueblo], New Mexico, b. 1958, and Andrew: Tiwa, Tua-Tua [Taos Pueblo]; Tewa, Khapo [Santa Clara Pueblo]; and Tohono O'odham (Papago), New Mexico, b. 1958). Ceramic, incised blackware with turquoise inlay. Gift of Walter Melion and John Clum. Photo by Bruce M. White.

“Spider Woman” is an important figure in Native North American mythology. Often associated with the creation of the earth, she not only gave the Hopi life, but also the creative power to weave, and the precious silver and turquoise to make their jewelry.

Later, the Diné (Navajo) migrated to Spider Woman's lands in the Southwest and learned of her gifts from the ancient Hopi and other Puebloan peoples. Today all of these groups in the Southwest are known for their imaginative creations in fiber, silver, turquoise, and ceramics.

As part of Emory's celebration and exploration of creation and creativity across cultures, the Carlos Museum is featuring not only indigenous art of the American Southwest, the gifts of Spider Woman, but also beadwork and leather of the Plains, Cherokee sculpture and basketry, and Southeastern Mississippian shell jewelry.