December 25, 2012

Zia pottery football trophy

The New Mexico Bowl Trophy: A Pot for Peak Performance

By Lee AllenThe Gildan New Mexico Bowl trophy is a Zia Pueblo clay pot featuring depictions of football players and team logos, made especially for the game by husband-and-wife team Marcellus and Elizabeth Medina. "While I'm not knocking some of the standard brass or glass trophies, this isn't one of the typical treasures," says Simbieda. "It's unique art, one of the most unusual trophies in all of sports. Our intent was to create something unusual and because New Mexico is unique, we wanted to be able to grab some of the flavor of the state and encapsulate some of that regional culture in trophy form."

Knowing that accuracy was more important than speed in this case, Siembieda urged holding off on the inscribing procedure, warning: "Don't put the winners name on the trophy just yet because this one isn't over until the clock expires."

In staying the engraver's hand, Siembieda made the right call--and in fact, without Siembieda there wouldn’t be such a trophy.

Knowing the symbol was sacred to the tribe, it was he who traveled to the Zia Pueblo in 2006 to seek permission for the use of the Zia sun in the bowl logo. Tribal leaders not only gave their blessing, they asked that Zia art be used for the awards. And, says Siembieda, "We've shown our gratitude by commissioning their artists to create these unique trophies given every year since the bowl’s start."
Comment:  For more on Indians and sports trophies, see Eight Native Players on Stanley Cup and Chief Caddo Football Trophy.

Below:  "A detail of the artwork on the permanent Gildan New Mexico Bowl trophy created by Elizabeth and Marcus Medina." (Kim Jew Sports Photography)

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