The most common explanations for the appearance of miniatures in the archaeological record are drawn from practice theory. Two alternatives stem from learning theories, while a third is based in ritual practice and performance. First, miniatures may represent early attempts at craft production by children or novice adults. Second, they could serve as children's toys used for enculturation purposes. Third, miniatures may be produced for use in rituals or as offerings. These explanations are not mutually exclusive; all may be part of the life history of a single artifact. Previous archaeological and ethnographic work on miniature ceramic vessels in the Southwest has variously supported all three prominent explanations. In this article, we examine the miniature vessel assemblage from Homol'ovi I, a prehispanic pueblo in northern Arizona, through a synthetic analysis of craft mastery, use, and deposition. While various life history trajectories are indicated, the miniature vessels at this ancestral Hopi village appear in similar depositional contexts. Specifically, these objects serve as important components in the preparation or closure practices of ritual spaces throughout the pueblo.