Margaret Tafoya (1904 - 2001) Maria Margarita Tafoya - Corn Blossom
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Margaret Tafoya (1904 - 2001) Maria Margarita Tafoya - Corn Blossom was the last of the matriarchs of the early 20th century pueblo potters. Born August 13, 1904 at Santa Clara Pueblo, Margaret learned her skills from her parents, Sara Fina Gutierrez Tafoya and Jose Geronimo Tafoya, who were expert potters; some of her pieces are inspired by tales she heard from her parents and grandparents. Margaret and her mother were known for their ability to make unusually large storage jars and water jars. She was married to husband Alcario Tafoya (1900 - 1995).
Tafoya's trademark is polished blackware. Her work is often decorated with bear paw designs, which she considered good luck. She is considered a master of the art of pottery making and made deeply carved blackware and redware vessels which are highly valued by collectors. She believed the secret to her technique were her polishing stones, which have been passed down through the generations. She taught her children (9 kids in total) her pottery-making skills to include: Virginia Ebelacker, Mela Youngblood, Toni Roller, LuAnn Tafoya, and Esther Archuleta. For a more complete family tree, see below (Reference: Pueblo Indian Pottery: 750 Artist Biographies: Santa Clara, San Ildefonso, San Juan, Tesuque, Nambe and Pojoaque. Gregory Schaaf. Family Tree 1, page 137).
A National Heritage Fellow, National Endowment for the Arts Folk Arts Program (1984). In 1985, Margaret Tafoya was one of three New Mexicans selected to receive the Governors Award, New Mexico's highest artistic honor, awarded for a major contribution to the arts of New Mexico.
Photo of Margaret Tafoya from unknown source.