Although the first wedding vase is believed to have originated in South America, it has been a part of Pueblo life for centuries. The wedding vases of Mata Ortiz, Mexico are part of the same ancient Pueblo tradition and the potters of the Mata Ortiz create some of the most lovely pieces available, ranging from elegant highly burnished blackware to intricately painted patterns derived from Native American roots.
On the day of the wedding, this vase is filled with blessed water, herb tea or other special beverage. First the groom offers his bride the vessel and she drinks from one side only. She then turns the wedding vase clockwise, and the groom then drinks from this same side. Each will then drink from the opposite side of the wedding vase, and then finally, in the culmination of the ceremony, they will both drink from the wedding vase together. It is said that if they manage this feat without spilling a drop then they will always have a strong, cooperative relationship. The ceremony is equivalent to the exchanging of wedding bands, and the couple will cherish their wedding vase throughout their married life.
The vessel itself is quite beautiful, but its design is an integral part of its meaning. The two spouts represent the couple, one the bride and the other groom. The rounded base and shared reservoir of the vase represents the couple’s now shared lives. The looped handle also represents this unity in a more visual and apparent way, much like a wedding band is a visual reminder of the deeper, spiritual connection that a husband and wife share. The handle creates a circle in the center of the vase that represents the circle of life.
For more information about Mata Ortiz Pottery click here.