Eagle nativity set with 5 pieces 
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Loren Wallowing Bull, Jemez, Eagle nativity set with 5 pieces
Artist: Loren Wallowing Bull
Pueblo: Jemez
Dimensions: 7 in H by 6 1/2 in Dia Measurement of largest dimensions
Item Number: xxjem6070
Price: $ 775
Description: Eagle nativity set with 5 pieces
Condition: Excellent
Signature: Loren Wallowing Bull Jemez
Date Created: 2016
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Loren Wallowing Bull

Loren Wallowing Bull
A Nacimiento by Loren Wallowing Bull

Loren Wallowing Bull was born in April of 1988 and was raised by Linda Lucero Fragua and Phillip Fragua. He showed an interest in working with clay early in life and his mother (Felicia Curley) began teaching him the Jemez traditional way when he was about five years old. So like others of his generation in the Fragua family (Chrislyn, Amy, Anissa and Clifford), his feel for the clay goes way back.

Loren has participated in shows at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Eight Northern Pueblos Arts and Crafts Show, Tucson Art Museum and the SWAIA Santa Fe Indian Market. At Santa Fe he won a 1st Place ribbon in the Youth Pottery Division and he's won a 1st Place ribbon at the Eight Northern Pueblos Show.

Loren tells us he gets his inspiration from his family and, like them, he truly enjoys making pottery. His favorite shapes are eagles, as storyteller figures and in nativity scenes. He also says he likes to push the style envelope and come up with something new, something different. That's how he came up with his eagle nacimientos and now he can't make enough of them.

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Jemez Pueblo

The nave at the ruins of the San Jose de las Jemez Mission
Ruins of San Jose de las Jemez Mission

As the drought in the Four Corners region deepened in the late 1200's, several clans of Towa-speaking people migrated southeastward to the Canyon de San Diego area in the southern Jemez mountains. Other clans of Towa-speaking people migrated southwest and settled in the Jeddito Wash area in northeastern Arizona, below Antelope Mesa and southeast of Hopi First Mesa. The migrations began around 1275 and were mostly complete by 1350.

Archaeologist Jesse Walter Fewkes argues that pot shards found in the vicinity of the ruin at Sikyátki (near the foot of Hopi First Mesa) speak to the strong influence of earlier Towa-speaking potters on what became "Sikyátki Polychrome" pottery (Sikyátki was a village at the foot of First Mesa, destroyed before the first Hopi contact with the Spanish in 1540). Fewkes maintained that Sikyátki Polychrome pottery is the finest ceramic ware ever made in prehistoric North America.

Francisco de Coronado and his men arrived in the Jemez Mountains of Nuevo Mexico in 1539. By then the Jemez people had built several large masonry villages among the canyons and on some high ridges in the area. Their population was estimated at about 30,000 and they were among the largest and most powerful tribes in Northern New Mexico. Some of their pueblos reached five stories high and contained as many as 3,000 rooms.

Because of the nature of the landscape they inhabited, farming was very hard. So the Jemez became traders, too, and their people traded goods all over the Southwest and northern Mexico.

The arrival of the Spanish was disastrous for the Jemez and they resisted the Spanish with all their might. That led to many atrocities against the tribe until they rose up in the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 and evicted the Spanish from northern New Mexico. With the Spanish gone, the Jemez destroyed much of what they had built on Jemez land. Then they concentrated on preparing themselves for the eventual return of the hated priests and the Spanish military.

The Spanish returned in 1692 and their efforts to retake northern New Mexico bogged down as the Jemez fought them doggedly for four years. In 1696 many Jemez came together, killed a Franciscan missionary and then fled to join their distant relatives in the Jeddito Wash area. They remained at Jeddito Wash for several years before returning to the Jemez Mountains. As a result of that long ago contact, there are still strong ties between the Jemez and their cousins on Navajo territory at Jeddito. On their return to the Jemez Mountains, the people built the pueblo they now live in (Walatowa: The Place) and made peace with the Spanish government.

Some of the Jemez people had been making a type of plainware pottery (simple, undecorated, utilitarian) when they were still in the Four Corners area, while others had developed a distinctive type of black-on-white pottery. In moving to the Jemez Mountains, they brought their knowledge and techniques with them but had to adapt to the different materials available to work with. Over time, the Jemez got better in their agricultural practices and began trading agricultural goods to the people of Zia Pueblo in return for pottery. By the mid-1700's, the Jemez were producing almost no pottery.

East of what is now Santa Fe is where the ruins of Pecos Pueblo are found. Pecos Pueblo was a large pueblo housing up to 2,000 people at its height. The people of Pecos and the Galisteo Basin were the only other speakers of the Towa language in New Mexico and when that area fell on increasingly hard times (Apache and Comanche raids, European diseases, drought), Pecos was finally abandoned in 1838 when the last 17 residents moved to Jemez. The Governor of Jemez welcomed them and allowed them to retain many of their Pecos tribal offices (governorship and all). Members of former Pecos families still return to the site of Pecos Pueblo every year to perform religious ceremonies in honor of their ancestors.

When general American interest in Puebloan pottery started to take off in the 1960's, the people of Jemez sought to recover that lost heritage. Today, the practice of traditional pottery-making is very much alive and well among the Jemez.

The focus of Jemez pottery today has turned to the making of storytellers, an art form that now accounts for more than half of their pottery production. Storytellers are usually grandparent figures with the figures of children attached to their bodies. The grandparents are pictured orally passing tribal songs and histories to their descendants. While this visual representation was first created at Cochiti Pueblo (a site in close geographical proximity to Jemez Pueblo) in the early 1960's by Helen Cordero, it speaks to the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren of every culture.

The pottery vessels made at Jemez Pueblo today are no longer black-on-white. Instead, the potters have adopted many colors, styles and techniques from other pueblos to the point where Jemez potters no longer have one distinct style of their own beyond that which stems naturally from the materials they themselves acquire from their surroundings: it doesn't matter what the shape or design is, the clay says uniquely "Jemez."

Location of Jemez Pueblo

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Emilia Loretto Family Tree

Disclaimer: This "family tree" is a best effort on our part to determine who the potters are in this family and arrange them in a generational order. The general information available is questionable so we have tried to show each of these diagrams to living members of each family to get their input and approval, too. This diagram is subject to change should we get better info.

    Emilia Loretto (b. ca.1910s) & Carmalito Loretto
    Their descendants who became potters:
    • Grace L. Fragua (ca. 1920s-) & Felix Fragua
      Their descendants who became potters:
      • Bonnie Fragua (b. 1966)
        Her descendants who became potters:
        • Jonathan Fragua (b. ca. 1985)
      • Clifford Kim Fragua (b. 1957)
      • Felicia Fragua (b. 1964) & Mike J. Curley
        Their descendants who became potters:
        • Ardina Fragua (b. 1980)
        • Loren Wallowing Bull (b. 1988)
      • Linda Lucero Fragua and Phillip M. Fragua
        Their descendants who became potters:
        • Chrislyn Fragua (b. 1973)
          Her descendants who became potters:
          • Anissa Fragua
      • Rose Fragua (b. 1946)
        Her descendants who became potters:
        • Janeth Fragua (b. 1964)
      • Carol Gachupin (b. 1960s) & Joseph Gachupin Sr. (b. 1953)
        Their descendants who became potters:
        • Joseph Gachupin Jr. (b. 1980)
      • Emily Fragua Tsosie (b. 1951) & Leonard Tsosie (b. 1941)
        Their descendants who became potters:
        • Darrick Tsosie (b. 1977)
        • Joseph L. Tsosie (B. ca. 1970s)
        • Lorna Tsosie (b. ca. 1970s)
        • Robert Tsosie (b. ca. 1970s)
    • Angela Loretto
      Her descendants who became potters:
      • Anthony Loretto (b. 1969)

Pottery Care & Consideration

  • The most obvious tip: Yes, the pots will break if you drop them!
  • Do not expose pottery to water (Inside or outside). Do not wipe with a damp cloth.
  • Dust pottery only with a soft, smooth cloth (no terry cloth or textured fabric). A very soft paintbrush (sable or camel) can be used.
  • Always use two hands to carry your pot: one on top and one on the bottom, or one hand on each side. Be careful with handles, they can be fragile. Do not grip or lift pots by the rim. Take care when wearing jewelry, rings can scratch the finish.
  • Place a piece of felt or cloth between the pot and the shelf to protect the signature.
  • Avoid exposing pottery to extreme temperature changes.

For those who live in "earthquake country" (also good for mischievous pets):

  • Weigh pots down with a small zip lock bag containing sand, glass marbles, rice, etc. Do not fill the pot more than one third full as you want them bottom heavy. Remember to remove the weight before moving.
  • Secure your shelves; make sure they are well attached to the walls. Shelf brackets should be of sufficient length and strength to support the weight of your pottery.
  • Prevent pots from sliding. Consider attaching a small wooden molding to the front of shelves. Line shelves with non-slip material (a thin sheet of rubber foam, Styrofoam sheeting, etc.)
  • If you need assistance with special problems, major cleaning (your grandchild spills ice cream on your pot), restoration or repair (the cat breaks a pot), or replacement (irreparable damage), please feel free to call us.

We hope these ideas help you maintain the beauty and value of your pottery for years of enjoyment.

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