Otellie Pasiyava was brought up and educated on a Hopi reservation. Although her formal training in pottery didn’t begin until she was 23, she created clay objects from childhood until her death in 1992. Otellie studied on scholarship at the School for American Craftsmen at Alfred University before continuing her education at Northern Arizona University and the College of Santa Fe.
She and her husband, Charles Loloma, a fellow A.U. alum, opened a shop in the 1950's. One of the first instructors for the Southwest Indian Art Project and a faculty member of the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, she earned a Women’s Caucus for Art Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991.
Her works are permanently featured in collections at the Museum of the American Indian and the Philbrook Museum of Art, among other institutions. Additionally, she performed Native American dance at the White House and at the 1968 Summer Olympics with her colleague, Josephine Myers-Wapp, and their students. She was also featured in a documentary.