Susan Romero


Santa Clara
 

Susan Snowflake Romero is the daughter of Joseph Lonewolf. Gregory Lonewolf is her brother, Rosemary Lonewolf her sister. Like them she learned to make pottery from their father. Like them she mostly makes miniature seed pots with sgraffito designs. After she married Mike Romero, she sometimes collaborated with him.


100 West San Francisco Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
(505) 986-1234 - www.andreafisherpottery.com - All Rights Reserved

 
 

Santa Clara Pueblo

The Puye Cliff Ruins
Ruins at Puye Cliffs, Santa Clara Pueblo

Santa Clara Pueblo straddles the Rio Grande about 25 miles north of Santa Fe. Of all the pueblos, Santa Clara has the largest number of potters.

The ancestral roots of the Santa Clara people have been traced to the pueblos in the Mesa Verde region in southwestern Colorado. When that area began to get dry between about 1100 and 1300, some of the people migrated to the Chama River Valley and constructed Poshuouinge (about 3 miles south of what is now Abiquiu on the edge of the mesa above the Chama River). Eventually reaching two and three stories high with up to 700 rooms on the ground floor, Poshuouinge was inhabited from about 1375 to about 1475. Drought then again forced the people to move, some of them going to the area of Puye (on the eastern slopes of the Pajarito Plateau of the Jemez Mountains) and others to Ohkay Owingeh (San Juan Pueblo, along the Rio Grande). Beginning around 1580, drought forced the residents of the Puye area to relocate closer to the Rio Grande and they founded what we now know as Santa Clara Pueblo on the west bank of the river, between San Juan and San Ildefonso Pueblos.

In 1598 Spanish colonists from nearby Yunque (the seat of Spanish government near San Juan Pueblo) brought the first missionaries to Santa Clara. That led to the first mission church being built around 1622. However, the Santa Clarans chafed under the weight of Spanish rule like the other pueblos did and were in the forefront of the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. One pueblo resident, a mixed black and Tewa man named Domingo Naranjo, was one of the rebellion's ringleaders. When Don Diego de Vargas came back to the area in 1694, he found most of the Santa Clarans on top of nearby Black Mesa (with the people of San Ildefonso). An extended siege didn't subdue them so eventually, the two sides negotiated a treaty and the people returned to their pueblo. However, successive invasions and occupations by northern Europeans took their toll on the tribe over the next 250 years. The Spanish flu pandemic in 1918 almost wiped them out.

Today, Santa Clara Pueblo is home to as many as 2,600 people and they comprise probably the largest per capita number of artists of any North American tribe (estimates of the number of potters run as high as 1-in-4 residents).

Today's pottery from Santa Clara is typically either black or red. It is usually highly polished and designs might be deeply carved or etched ("sgraffito") into the pot's surface. The water serpent, ("avanyu"), is a traditional design motif of Santa Clara pottery. Another motif comes from the legend that a bear helped the people find water during a drought. The bear paw has appeared on their pottery ever since.

One of the reasons for the distinction this pueblo has received is because of the evolving artistry the potters have brought to the craft. Not only did this pueblo produce excellent black and redware, several notable innovations helped move pottery from the realm of utilitarian vessels into the domain of art. Different styles of polychrome redware emerged in the 1920's-1930's. In the early 1960's experiments with stone inlay, incising and double firing began. Modern potters have also extended the tradition with unusual shapes, slips and designs, illustrating what one Santa Clara potter said: "At Santa Clara, being non-traditional is the tradition." (This refers strictly to artistic expression; the method of creating pottery remains traditional).

Santa Clara Pueblo is home to a number of famous pottery families: Tafoya, Baca, Gutierrez, Naranjo, Suazo, Chavarria, Garcia, Vigil, Tapia - to name a few.

Harvest, Santa Clara Pueblo c. 1912

Courtesy Museum of New Mexico Neg. No. 4128

Santa Clara Pueblo c. 1920

Courtesy Museum of New Mexico Neg. No. 4214

Map showing the location of Santa Clara Pueblo
For more info:
at Wikipedia
Pueblos of the Rio Grande, Daniel Gibson, ISBN-13:978-1-887896-26-9, Rio Nuevo Publishers, 2001
Upper photo courtesy of Einar Kvaran, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License


100 West San Francisco Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
(505) 986-1234 - www.andreafisherpottery.com - All Rights Reserved

 
Miniatureredliddedjarwithsgraffitopeople,pueblo,Mimbresbird,andgeometricdesign,withmatchingbirdlid, Click or tap to see a larger version
See a larger version


Susan Romero, Santa_Clara, Miniatureredliddedjarwithsgraffitopeople,pueblo,Mimbresbird,andgeometricdesign,withmatchingbirdlid
Susan Romero
Santa Clara
$ 1500
zzsc2k017
Miniature red lidded jar with sgraffito people, pueblo, Mimbres bird, and geometric design, with matching bird lid
2.25 in L by 2.25 in W by 2.5 in H
Condition: Very good
Signature: Pho-Sa-We N-63, with snowflake and bird hallmarks


100 West San Francisco Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
(505) 986-1234 - www.andreafisherpottery.com - All Rights Reserved

Mimbres Pottery

Mimbres Mogollon

Polychrome seed pot with a Mimbres-style fish and geometric design

Rebecca Lucario
Acoma
Polychrome bowl with black-and-white mountain sheep and geometric design

Verda Toledo
Jemez
Black and white canteen with Mimbres animal and geometric design

Marie Z. Chino
Acoma


The Mimbres Mogollon culture was named for the Mimbres River in the Gila Mountains. They lived in the area from about 850 CE to about 1150 CE. Substantial depopulation of the area occurred but there were many small surviving populations. Over time, these melted into the surrounding cultures with many families moving north to Acoma, Zuni and Hopi while others moved south to Casas Grande and Paquime.

The time period from about 850 CE to about 1000 CE is classed the Late Basketmaker III period. The time period was characterized by the evolution of square and rectangular pithouses with plastered floors and walls. Ceremonial structures were generally dug deep into the ground. Local forms of pottery have been classified as early Mimbres black-on-white (formerly Boldface Black-on-White), textured plainware and red-on-cream.

The Classic Mimbres phase (1000 CE to 1150 CE) was marked with the construction of larger buildings in clusters of communities around open plazas. Some constructions had up to 150 rooms. Most groupings of rooms included a ceremonial room, although smaller square or rectangular underground kivas with roof openings were also being used. Classic Mimbres settlements were located in areas with well-watered floodplains available, suitable for the growing of maize, squash and beans. The villages were limited in size by the ability of the local area to grow enough food to support the village.

Pottery produced in the Mimbres region is distinct in style and decoration. Early Mimbres black-on-white pottery was primarily decorated with bold geometric designs, although some early pieces show human and animal figures. Over time the rendering of figurative and geometric designs grew more refined, sophisticated and diverse, suggesting community prosperity and a rich ceremonial life. Classic Mimbres black-on-white pottery is also characterized by bold geometric shapes but done with refined brushwork and very fine linework. Designs may include figures of one or multiple humans, animals or other shapes, bounded by either geometric decorations or by simple rim bands. A common figure on a Mimbres pot is the turkey, another is the thunderbird. There are also a lot of different fish depicted, some are species found in the Gulf of California.

A lot of Mimbres bowls (with kill holes) have been found in archaeological excavations but most Mimbres pottery shows evidence it was actually used in day-to-day life and wasn't produced just for burial purposes.

There's a lot of speculation as to what happened to the Mimbres people as their countryside was rapidly depopulated after about 1150 CE. The people of Isleta, Acoma and Laguna find ancient Mimbres pot shards on their pueblo lands, indicating that pottery designs from the Mimbres River area migrated north. There are similar designs found on pot shards littering the ground around Casas Grandes and Paquime near Mata Ortiz and Nuevo Casas Grandes in northern Mexico. Other than where they went, the only reasons offered for why they left involve at least small scale climate change. The usual comment is "drought" but drought could have been brought on by the eruption of a volcano on the other side of the planet, or a small change in the El Nino-La Nina schedule. Whatever it was that started the outflow of people, it began in the Mimbres River area and spread outward from there. Excavations in the Eastern Mimbres region (nearer to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico) have shown that the people adapted to new circumstances and that adaptation itself moved them closer into alignment with surrounding tribes and cultures. Eventually they just kind of merged into the background, although the groups that moved south and built up Paquime and Casas Grandes seem to have lost a war and survivors migrated to the west, to a land a bit more hospitable for them.


Black and white canteen with a bighorn ram's head spout and Mimbres ram and geometric design

Michael Kanteena
Laguna
Black and white flat jar with Mimbres geometric design

Paula Estevan
Acoma
Polychrome jar with Mimbres rabbit and geometric design, inside and out

Franklin Tenorio
Santo Domingo

100 West San Francisco Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
(505) 986-1234 - www.andreafisherpottery.com - All Rights Reserved

Miniatures

Most people think that miniature pottery is something new in the world of Native American pottery. In reality, archaeologists have found miniature pottery in the remains of ancient ruins in Chaco Canyon, Mesa Verde, across eastern Arizona, southern New Mexico and south to the Paquimé and Casas Grandes region in northern Mexico. Archaeologists working in the eastern US have found miniature pottery spread across Early Woodland Culture sites, too, dated up to 1700 years ago.

We have no idea as to why the ancients created miniature pottery but there's lots of speculation. Perhaps it was made as toys for children. Perhaps it was made by children learning to make pottery, and as their expertise grew, the size of their pieces grew, too. Perhaps it was made and placed in a firing pit as a good luck charm, hoping that other pots being fired in the pit would survive the firing process and not crack or break. Perhaps it was made for some ceremonial purpose we have no possibility of knowing. We do know that in North America, almost every pottery-making group of ancients made miniature pottery. They decorated it, too, just like the full size pottery the women of the time were making.

As the rebirth of traditionally made Native American pottery has unfolded over the last century, research into the ancient forms, styles and designs has also brought the miniature back into focus. There are more than a few potters these days making tiny gems again, similar to and, at the same time, more refined than the products of the potters of prehistory. And while some are still being made by children learning as they grow up, many more are being made by established adult potters. Some have made their entire careers around the making of miniatures while others sometimes make a few miniatures to complement the full range of forms and styles of full size pieces they make.



100 West San Francisco Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
(505) 986-1234 - www.andreafisherpottery.com - All Rights Reserved

Margaret Tafoya 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.

Note: Sarafina (Gutierrez) Tafoya was the sister of Pasqualita Tani Gutierrez.

    Sarafina Tafoya (1863-1949) & Geronimo Tafoya
    • Margaret Tafoya (1904-2001) & Alcario Tafoya (d. 1995)
      • Mary Ester Archuleta (1942-2010)
        • Barry Archuleta
        • Bryon Archuleta
        • Sheila Archuleta
      • Jennie Trammel (1929-2010)
        • Karen Trammel Beloris
      • Virginia Ebelacker (1925-2001)
        • James Ebelacker (1960-) & Cynthia Ebelacker
          • Jamelyn Ebelacker
          • Sarena Ebelacker
        • Richard Ebelacker (1946-2010) & Yvonne Ortiz
          • Jason Ebelacker
          • Jerome Ebelacker & Dyan Esquibel
            • Andrew Ebelacker
            • Nickolas Ebelacker
      • Lee Tafoya (1926-1996) & Betty Tafoya (Anglo)
        • Linda Tafoya (Oyenque)(Sanchez) (1962-)
          • Antonio Jose Oyenque
          • Jeremy Rio Oyenque
          • Maria Theresa Oyenque
        • Melvin Tafoya
        • Phyllis Bustos Tafoya
      • Mela Youngblood (1931-1990) & Walt Youngblood
        • Nancy Youngblood (1955-)
          • Christopher Cutler
          • Joseph Lugo
          • Sergio Lugo
        • Nathan Youngblood (1954-)
      • Toni Roller (1935-)
        • Brandon Roller
        • Cliff Roller (1961-)
        • Deborah Morning Star Roller
        • Jeff Roller (1963-)
          • Jordan Roller
          • Ryan Roller
        • Susan Roller Whittington (1955-)
          • Charles Lewis
        • Tim Roller (1959-)
        • William Roller
      • LuAnn Tafoya (1938-) & Sostence Tapia
        • Michele Tapia Browning (1960-)
          • Ashley Browning
          • Mindy Browning
        • Daryl Duane Whitegeese (1964-) & Rosemary Hardy
          • Samantha Whitegeese
          • Tina Whitegeese
      • Shirley Cactus Blossom Tafoya (1947-)
      • Meldon Tafoya
        • Andrea Tafoya
        • Crystal Tafoya
        • Melissa Tafoya
    • Christina Naranjo (1891-1980) & Jose Victor Naranjo (1895-1942)
      • Mary Cain (1916-2010)
        • Billy Cain (1950-2005)
        • Joy Cain (1947-)
        • Linda Cain (1949-)
          • Autumn Borts-Medlock (1967-)
          • Tammy Garcia (1969-)
        • Douglas Tafoya
        • Marjorie Tafoya Tanin
      • Teresita Naranjo (1919-1999)
        • Stella Chavarria (1939-)
          • Denise Chavarria (1959-)
          • Joey Chavarria (1964-1987)
          • Sunday Chavarria (1963-)
      • Cecilia Naranjo
        • Sharon Naranjo Garcia (1951-)
        • Judy Tafoya (1962-) & Lincoln Tafoya (1954-)
      • Mida Tafoya (1931-)
        • Sherry Tafoya (1956-)
        • Phyllis & Mathew Tafoya
          • Marlin Hemlock (Seneca) & Phyllis Hemlock
        • Ethel Vigil
          • Kimberly Garcia
    • Camilio Tafoya (1902-1995) & Agapita Silva (1904-1959)
      • Joe Tafoya & Lucy Year Flower (1935-2012)
        • Kelli Little Kachina (1967-2014)
        • Myra Little Snow (1962-)
        • Forrest Red Cloud Tafoya
        • Shawn Tafoya (1968-)
      • Joseph Lonewolf (1932-2014) & Katheryn Lonewolf
        • Greg Lonewolf (1952-)
        • Rosemary Apple Blossom Lonewolf (1954-) & Paul Speckled Rock (1952-2017)
          • Adam Speckled Rock
        • Susan Romero
      • Grace Medicine Flower (1938-)
    • Dolorita Padilla (1897-1960) & Alberto Padilla (1898-)
    • Tomacita Tafoya Naranjo (1884-1918) & Agapita Naranjo
      • Nicolasa Naranjo (c.1910-) & Jose G. Tafoya
        • Howard Naranjo & Linda Naranjo

Some of the above info is drawn from Pueblo Indian Pottery, 750 Artist Biographies, by Gregory Schaaf, © 2000, Center for Indigenous Arts & Studies

Other info is derived from personal contacts with family members and through interminable searches of the Internet.


100 West San Francisco Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
(505) 986-1234 - www.andreafisherpottery.com - All Rights Reserved