Tonita Roybal

San Ildefonso
 

Tonita Martinez Roybal (1892-1945) was the mother of Santana Roybal of Adam and Santana Martinez fame. Tonita learned to make pottery the traditional way from her mother, Dominguita Pino, and she passed that on to her daughter Santana. Tonita was producing pots for the marketplace from 1909 until she passed on in 1945.

Tonita worked mostly with redware and blackware jars and bowls. During her life she developed methods of using matte white and matte red paints on redware pots. She is probably most famous for her black-on-red and black-on-black jars and her polychrome redware. She also attained a measure of fame for her participation in pottery making demonstrations with Maria Martinez, Maximiliana Montoya, Ramona Gonzales and Desideria Montoya at the Museum of New Mexico in 1909. Tonita was one of the finest potters of the twentieth century. Her pottery rivaled Maria's. However, Maria did not paint her pieces while Tonita did. Tonita may have painted some pieces for Maria. Maria and Tonita were also able to achieve the finest "deep luster" polish on their blackware.

Tonita's first husband was Alfredo Montoya, a painter whose mother, Nicolasa Peña Montoya, first encouraged Maria Martinez to make pots. Painting pots for several women potters, Alfredo was especially known for his birds, animals and flowers. After his passing Tonita is known to have spent time studying the work of Hopi-Tewa potter Nampeyo of Hano. Perhaps in her process of creating at least one Sikyátki-style Hopi pot (now in the collection of the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe) she cross-pollinated ideas with some Hopi potters. It is felt that she may have had some influence in the development of black on red pottery at Hopi which became more popular during the 1920's.

In 1920 she married Juan Cruz Roybal and the year after, he began painting some of Tonita's pots. After 1930 he was painting most of her pots for her. It was in 1935 that he began painting some Mimbres-inspired designs on her pots.


100 West San Francisco Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
(505) 986-1234 - www.andreafisherpottery.com - All Rights Reserved

 
 

San Ildefonso Pueblo

Sacred Black Mesa
Black Mesa at San Ildefonso Pueblo

San Ildefonso Pueblo is located about twenty miles northwest of Santa Fe, New Mexico, mostly on the eastern bank of the Rio Grande. Although their ancestry has been traced as far back as abandoned pueblos in the Mesa Verde area in southwestern Colorado, the most recent ancestral home of the people of San Ildefonso is in the area of Bandelier National Monument, the prehistoric villages of Tyuonyi, Otowi, Navawi and Tsankawi specifically. The area of Tsankawi abuts the reservation on its northwest side.

The San Ildefonso name was given to the village in 1617 when a mission church was established. Before then the village was called Powhoge, "where the water cuts through" (in Tewa). Today's pueblo was established as long ago as the 1300's and when the Spanish arrived in 1540 they estimated the village population at about 2,000.

That village mission was destroyed during the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 and when Don Diego de Vargas returned to reclaim the San Ildefonso area in 1694, he found virtually the entire tribe on top of nearby Black Mesa. After an extended siege the two sides negotiated a treaty and the people returned to their village. However, the next 250 years were not good for them. Finally, the Spanish swine flu pandemic of 1918 reduced the tribe's population to about 90. The tribe's population has increased to more than 600 today but the only economic activity available for most on the pueblo involves the creation of art in one form or another. The only other jobs are off-pueblo. San Ildefonso's population is small compared to neighboring Santa Clara Pueblo, but the pueblo maintains its own religious traditions and ceremonial feast days.

San Ildefonso has produced fine ceramic art since early pre-Columbian times. The pueblo is most known for being the home of the most famous Pueblo Indian potter, Maria Martinez. Many other excellent potters have produced quality pottery from this pueblo, too, among them: Blue Corn, Tonita and Juan Roybal, Dora Tse Pe and Rose Gonzales. Of course the descendants of Maria Martinez are still important pillars of San Ildefonso's pottery tradition. Maria's influence reached far and wide, so far and wide that even Juan Quezada, founder of the Mata Ortiz pottery renaissance in Chihuahua, Mexico, came to San Ildefonso to learn from her.

San Ildefonso Pueblo location map

For more info:
at Wikipedia
official website
Pueblos of the Rio Grande, by Daniel Gibson
Photo is in the public domain


100 West San Francisco Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
(505) 986-1234 - www.andreafisherpottery.com - All Rights Reserved

 
Blackongunmetalblackjarwithbandoffeathersdesign, Click or tap to see a larger version
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Tonita Roybal, San_Ildefonso, Blackongunmetalblackjarwithbandoffeathersdesign
Tonita Roybal
San Ildefonso
$ SOLD
rhsih9110
Black on gunmetal black jar with band of feathers design
6 in H by 8 1/2 in Dia
Condition: Very good
Signature: Tonita


100 West San Francisco Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
(505) 986-1234 - www.andreafisherpottery.com - All Rights Reserved