Maria I. Naranjo Santa Clara Eleven Piece Polished Nacimiento

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Maria I. Naranjo, Santa Clara Pueblo Potter

Artist Signature of Maria I. Naranjo, Santa Clara Pueblo PotterThis nacimiento by Santa Clara Pueblo artist Maria I. Naranjo features three central human figurines (with separate cradle) surrounded by seven animals.  The artist spent a tremendous amount of attention on hand stone polishing chosen aspects of the figurines.  Joseph is polychrome: the peach and black are matte, the dark brown being highly polished. He wears his hair in two braids and smiles down at the scene.  Mary has four colors, with her skin and hair left matte while her cream and dark brown clothes are polished.  Baby Jesus is removable from his crib and together, these pieces match mother and father in slip colors and presentation. 

This scene includes a unique variety of animal attendees, and stands out in the whimsical choices Maria I. Naranjo made with their respective sizes.  The horse, donkey, cow, goat, and sheep are proportional while the domestic cat and rooster appear to be larger than life.  Each figurine is distinctly Maria I. Naranjo’s style, and together make a truly exceptional nacimiento set.  

Maria I. Naranjo is considered the first potter from Santa Clara Pueblo to make nacimientos in blackware pottery.  She originally made them in the Spanish style but started making them in the traditional Indian style in the 1960s. Her figures are incredibly hand formed and precisely stone polished.


Condition: a very small abrasion has occurred on the rooster’s comb but overall the nacimiento is in excellent condition

Provenance: this Maria I. Naranjo Santa Clara Eleven Piece Polished Nacimiento is from the collection of a family from California

Reference: Nacimientos, Nativity Scenes by Southwest Indian Artisans by Guy and Doris Monthan

Relative Links: Southwest Indian PotterySanta Clara PueblonacimientosMaria I. Naranjo, Santa Clara Pueblo Potter

Maria I. Naranjo, Santa Clara Pueblo Potter
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