SOBAIPURI RED AND SOBAIPURI PLAIN ARE NOT SOBAIPURI
It is unfortunate that Charles Di Peso named these two types of pottery "Sobaipuri" because they are not Sobaipuri. This
is a perfect example of why ethnic names should not be applied to pottery types. Although many people continue to refer
to these usually thick, often organic-tempered, but sometimes sand-tempered pottery as Sobaipuri, they were not
produced until the 1770s. They are not the indigenous pottery that characterizes the Sobaipuri in the pre-1770s period.
At Terrenate Presidio and Guevavi Mission where the change is first evident these organic-tempered wares do not seem
to have been produced by the Sobaipuri. Rather this new technology may have been introduced by the Opata or this may
represent a local version of Colono pottery, as named in the Southeastern US and which applied to pottery indictive of
the merging of many cultures.
Instead, the pottery types that are characteristic of the Sobaipuri are referred to as Whetstone Plain and generically as
early O'odham ware.
Whetstone Plain is distinctive but not many people know how to accurately characterize it. Whetstone Plain often serves as a catch-all
category where plain pottery of many types and origins is placed. Apache pottery and Whetstone Plain are routinely confused because
both are thin plainwares with matte or wiped surfaces, both are made of brown clay that sometimes fires gray.