Pablita Tafoya Chavarria (1914-1979)

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Picture of Pablita Chavarria

It has been difficult to find biographical information on Pablita in relation to which Tafoya family she was from.  All the references consulted have information about her marriage and children but nothing about her previous life. We know her maiden name was Tafoya but not which Tafoya family she was from.

Pablita Tafoya Chavarria was born in 1914 at Santa Clara Pueblo. She started making carved blackware, black-on-black jars, bowls, vases, wedding vases, plates, and miniatures in 1930. Her favorite designs were Avanyu, hummingbirds, flowers, and clouds. She passed away in 1979.

Pablita married Jose M. Chavarria and they had eleven children: Clara Shije, Reycita Naranjo, Thomas Chavarria, Elizabeth Naranjo, Florence Browning, Mary Singer, Mary Agnes Carlisle, Loretto Chavarria, Joe M. Chavarria, Mildred Chavarria, and José N. Chavarria. Clara, Reycita, Elizabeth, Florence, and Mary all were active potters through the end of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first.

Photo courtesy of Gregory Schaaf.  Reference: Pueblo Indian Pottery: 750 Artist Biographies by Gregory Schaaf.

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