Suburban Indians still return to their pueblos to dance in plazas on feast days, to listen to elders, to stay in touch with ever-extending families.
They nourish their connection to traditional culture at the risk of becoming, as one potter fears, "commuters playing Indian on the weekend." For those who live in the pueblos, creativity depends on distancing themselves from the looping electronic arpeggios and tinkle of slot machines pouring from the nearby tribal casino.
Potters look for ways to tell these stories--more complicated stories than the previous generations sought to tell. The designs they draw and carve on their bowls embrace irony and politics, tragedy and whimsy.
The line of stories and teachings handed down through the generations by the grandmothers and aunties still exists. But it follows a more wandering path, and potters worry that their children may not learn the full power of that ancestral lineage.