Date of this Version
Journal of Women in Educational Leadership, Vol. 4, No.3-July 2006 ISSN: 1541-6224
Native American artisan Maria Poveka Martinez played a vital role in the revival of pottery making throughout the Southwest United States. Born in 1887 in the San Ildefonso region of New Mexico, Maria first made pottery as a child and received encouragement from her aunt, who was an excellent potter. 1907 is the year that Maria began her pottery career in earnest. During this year, Maria's husband Julian worked as a digger at an archeological site near their pueblo. Maria was at the* excavation site when the diggers uncovered shards of decorated black on cream pottery. She took great interest in the pottery shards and was asked by some of the archeologists if she could recreate some of the vessels and prehistoric decorative patterns. Excited by the project, Maria carefully studied the patterns and then created some historically inspired pottery for the archeologists. Impressed with Maria's pottery, the archeologists placed more orders for her work and she began to earn an income by selling her pots. Prior to this point in history, the ancient tradition of Native American pottery making had begun to wane, possibly due a lack of interest by Anglo society.