IACA Journal Fall 2013 - page 8

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IACA Journal | Fall 2013
Through Seasons and Generations
the fragua family of jemez pueblo
(Top to bottom, left to right) The tradition
was started by Juanita Fragua and continues
with award winning artwork by Cliff Fragua,
Glendora Fragua, and Tablita Fragua.
“The devotion placed into creative efforts
throughout spring and summer rewards us with
fullness in the harvest time,” artist
Pahponee tells us.
Celebration of the fall season is always a joy for indigenous people.
The celebration is not only in the seasons of the calendar, but is
also a family celebration of elders passing down tradition through
generations of children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
This is a story about one of those families.
The railroad and Highway 4 has brought tourism to the New Mexi-
co area of Jemez Valley since the early 1900s. Then, potters Rita and
Vidal Casiquito offered their pottery to visitors who came by the
Jemez Pueblo.
In 1935, Juanita of the Corn Clan arrived, one of five daughters. As
a child, Juanita began to learn how to create pottery at the hands of
her mother. Life was hard in those days, but Juanita was dedicated
to pottery making.
At age 22, Juanita married Manuel T. Fragua (1937-2010) and they
had five children, Clifford, Donald, Glendora, Betty Jean, and Sam-
uel. The family moved to St. Louis, MO shortly after Donald was
born. Both Glendora and Betty Jean were born in St. Louis and the
family lived in Missouri for almost six years.
After returning to Jemez Pueblo for a year, the family then moved
to San Francisco, CA. There, Juanita took up pottery again after a
long absence from working with clay. Her
works received much attention in the Bay
Area and she started winning awards at the
local arts and crafts shows. Upon return-
ing to Jemez Pueblo in 1973, she started
participating in the Eight Northern Indian
Pueblo Arts and Crafts shows and the Santa
Fe Indian Market. She also participated in
the Heard Museum Show and the Pueblo
Grande Indian Arts & Crafts Show. Her
works received numerous awards and gained
much attention among collectors. She was
instrumental in reviving the use of natural
pigment on Jemez pottery.
Today Juanita Fragua still produces her ex-
quisite pottery and continues to win awards.
Over the years, the Fragua children and
grandchildren were carefully nurtured,
frequently through very difficult times, and
they have blossomed into great artists in
their own right.
1,2,3,4,5,6,7 9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,...20
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