Jemez Pueblo Twelve-Figure Pottery Nacimiento by Mary E. Toya

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Mary E. Toya, Jemez Pueblo Potter

This twelve-piece pottery nacimiento by deceased potter Mary E. Toya of Jemez Pueblo consists of the Holy Family, three Kings, a shepherd, and five animals—donkey, steer, sheep, lamb and horse.  

Mary and Joseph are both kneeling and the Baby Jesus is lying on a pad.  Both Mary and Joseph have their hands clasped in prayer, each wears a banded blanket and bead necklace.  Each of the kings carries a gift of a pottery vessel. The shepherd carries a staff.

Artist Signature - Mary E. Toya (1934-1990), Jemez Pueblo PotterMary E. Toya (1934-1990) was not included in the book Nacimientos in 1979, an indication that she was probably not making nativity sets at that time although she had made her first storyteller figurine in 1973.  Mary was one of six potters of the Loretto family from Jemez, although some of them married and moved to their husband’s pueblo. Mary stayed at Jemez.


Condition: this Jemez Pueblo Twelve-Figure Pottery Nacimiento by Mary E. Toya is in very good condition

Provenance: from the collection of a gentleman from North Carolina

Recommended Reading: Nacimientos: Nativity Scenes by Southwest Indian Artisans by Guy and Doris Monthan

Mary E. Toya, Jemez Pueblo Potter
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