Iris Nampeyo (1860-1942) was a Hopi potter of great reknown who learned pottery making from her paternal grandmother. She became increasingly interested in ancient pottery form and design when second husband, Lesou (or Lesso) was employed by the archaeologist J. Walter Fewkes at the excavation of the prehistoric ruin of Sikytki in the 1890s. Lesou helped Nampeyo find shards showing prehistoric pottery designs which became her inspiration. Nampeyo developed her own style based on the traditional designs. Her work was purchased for the Smithsonian Institution and by collectors worldwide.
Nampeyo began to lose her sight in 1925, but continued to create pots by touch. These later pots were painted by members of her family, including her four daughters, who also became well-known potters. She worked until her death in 1942.