MARK TAHBO (1958-2017)
- Vickie Yorke
Hopi-Tewa from First Mesa and a member of the Tobacco Clan
Mark’s phenomenal skill as a potter and precision as a painter of pottery places him firmly at the top of all contemporary Hopi potters and Southwest Native American potters. Mark’s work has been shown and sold in every major gallery that carries Southwestern Indian pottery.
Mark Tahbo won numerous awards, some are listed below.
Phoenix’s Heard Museum Annual Indian Fair
A consistent award winner at the annual Santa Fe Indian Market 1991,
Mark won the overall Prize at Indian Market 1992
He was awarded Best of Division at the Heard Museum Indian Fair
Mark Tahbo and Tad Anderman began the project of documenting Hopi Kachinas in danger of becoming extinct in ……
One of the principal criteria for Mark and Tad’s project was to recreate the original size tile Thomas Keam’s had made for his trading post and home at Keam’s Canyon, Hopi, Arizona. The original tile in the aforementioned structures’ walls were 10″ x 10″ and 11″ x 6″. These Polacca tiles were made this size roughly between circa 1882-1886—the earliest forms. (Reference the one’s in the Smithsonian Museum collection collected by Victor Mindeleff at Hopi in December 1882). Tile for commercial trade after 1886 were smaller.
This project was unique and a one-off. Almost without question, no other Hopi potter would undertake this project today, for they wouldn’t be familiar with these images. Mark made and fired these rarely danced Hopi Ceremonial Kachina images to record before they became extinct. Few Hopi people knew or know of some of these images even today. By Mark’s account, many of the images he has documented were originally from the Tewa pueblos along the Rio Grande, and the Hopi have incorporated them into their culture hundreds of years earlier.
“He was the kindest, most considerate and gentle person I knew. I was happy to consider him a great friend of mine”. Tad Anderman.