Coconino Red-on-buff

Coconino Red-on-buff censor. Click the image to open the Coconino Red-on-buff gallery.

Coconino Red-on-buff is a type of Coconino Buff Ware sharing similarities with Hohokam Buff Ware made in central and southern Arizona, but found only at a few sites around Walnut Canyon in northern Arizona.

Archaeological Culture: Sinagua

Date Range: A.D. 1050-1150.

Construction: By paddle and anvil.

Firing: In a oxidizing atmosphere.

Core Color: Black, gray, or buff, tending to brick-red near the outer surface (jars), or brick-red.

Temper: Abundant coarse light-colored angular fragments (gray, white, or buff) (Variety 1), or abundant grains of black volcanic sand (Variety 2).

Surface Finish: Exterior surface (jars), slipped with buff wash or creamy slip interior surface generally coated with thin buff wash and wiped; exterior surface (bowls), coated with thin buff wash and wiped; exterior surface (bowls) coated with thin buff wash and wiped, interior surfaces slipped buff or creamy slip.

Surface Color: Buff, cream.

Forms: Jars, bowls, censers.

Vessel Thickness: 

  • Jar walls: 4.1 to 7.1 mm; greatest individual range recorded, 1.4 mm; average thickness (six sherds) 5.5 mm.
  • Bowl walls: 6.0 to 7.9 mm; greatest individual range recorded, 1.9mm; average thickness (two sherds) 6.8mm.


  • Paint:  Iron oxide mineral paint.
  • Design: Elements consist of serrated barbs, thin parallel lines, often wavy or jagged; fringe attached to lines; hatching, with the hatching areas often doubly capped with jagged lines; both rectilinear and curvilinear scrolls.

Comparisons: Types of Hohokam Buff Ware all have different temper. Winona Red-on-buff differs in that it is definitely not slipped.

Compiled from the following sources:
Colton, Harold S. (1955) Pottery Types of the Arizona Strip and Adjacent Areas in Utah and Nevada. Museum of Northern Arizona Ceramic Series No. 1. Flagstaff, Arizona

O’Hara, Michael. (1998) Red-on-buff North of the Mogollon Rim: A Comparative Analysis and Cultural Assessment. Masters Thesis. Northern Arizona University. Flagstaff, Arizona.

Compiled by:
April Peters, Northern Arizona University Anthropology Laboratories.