A thousand years ago the people living in Mimbres Valley in what is now Southwestern New Mexico decorated the inside of their pottery bowls with pictures of virtually every animal they observed-rabbits, mountain goats, bears, insects, birds and fish, as humans. The designs on this mug recreate those of the ancient Mimbrenos. Relatively little is known about the Mimbreños, as the inhabitants of the Mimbres region are known, including the name they called themselves.
The name "Mimbres" is actually the Spanish word for the willow trees that grow along the stream running through the Mimbres region. Had it not been for their wonderful pottery, the Mimbreños would likely be of no interest to anyone today other than a handful of archaeologists. The discovery of Mimbres pottery in the early part of this century led to research and digs, not all of which were made by archaeologists.
A growing market for Mimbres pottery led to the influx of professional looters who used bulldozers to strip-mine sites in a quest for salable objects.