Pueblo potters developed large storage jars, called ollas, to hold food and water. These vessels were carefully hand-built using coils which were smoothed together into a strong thin wall. The full, round shape of this olla is emphasized by the decorative pattern of black and white painted onto the surface. The interlocked lines of small white squares with a dot in the middle represent a traditional three-step cloud motif and also refer to lightning, which heralds the summer rainstorms. The square and dot design evokes rows of maize kernels, a staple food source for the Ancient Puebloans. All of the designs on the pot were painted freehand, showing the artist's great talent and skill.