Sara Fina Tafoya (circa 1863-1950) Autumn Leaf
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Margaret Tafoya says the correct spelling of her mother's name is Sara Fina, not Serafina or Sarafina, as usually seen in print. Sara Fina is now known to have been the outstanding potter of her time. Because she spoke no English and could not write (although she spoke Tewa and Spanish), her pottery vessels are unsigned except for those signed for her by her children.
From Santa Clara Pueblo, Sara Fina Tafoya (circa 1863-1950) Autumn Leaf made large utilitarian vessels and small pieces as well. Most were undecorated black or red pieces, and some had scalloped rims and impressed designs including bear paws and melon shapes.
Most of her work today must be attributed to her hand by comparing them to pieces in collections which are known to be her work. Because of the high quality of her pottery, it is not too difficult to single out her work.
Autumn Leaf photo (right) courtesy of Rick Dillingham, Fourteen Families In Pueblo Pottery.
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