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Maria Martinez
Pueblo Potter of the Southwest

Maria Martinez - click to enlargeMaria 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.

Maria MartinezMartinez 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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