Pueblo Potter of the Southwest
Montoya Martinez (1887-1980) was a Native American potter
who made traditional, burnished, pit-fired and smoked wares. Pueblo
pottery is made by Native American tribes of the south-western United
States. These include Acoma, Laguna and Zuni pottery made in the
villages of the same name. About 20 Pueblo Indian groups, with a
total population of 50,000 people live in the area, which encompasses
Arizona, New Mexico, and sections of Utah and Colorado. Pottery
of the Southwest is generally coil-built, molded or modeled, burnished
and pit-fired. Six Native American women are considered to be the
matriarchs of American Indian pottery of the Southwest. They are:
Blue Corn, Helen Cordero, Lucy
Lewis, Nampeyo of Hano, Margaret Tafoya and Maria Martinez.
lived in the San Ildefonso Pueblo in northern New Mexico all her
life. Her whole family was involved in making pueblo pottery. She
and her husband Julian revived the traditional method of 'black-on-black'
pottery for which they gained international recognition.
Today, the tradition is carried on by Martinez' daughter-in-law
Santana Martinez and great grand-daughter Barbara Gonzales.
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