Update on my search for two potters

Last semester, I wrote in one of my blog post that I was searching for two potters whose names are Petra Tafoya and Dora Cata. I would like to update you on where I am at in my journey in search of these two potters.

A quick recap…Some of the vessels in the museum have names inscribed on the bottom of the post. My responsibility as an intern is to verify the names on the pots to confirm that indeed they are potters. I was able to verify Tomasita Montoya, Reyecita A. Trujillo, Lela Gutierrez, and Van Gutierrez to be potters. There were two names that I have not been able to verify Petra Tafoya and Dora Cata. 

Petra Tafoya. Santa Clara. Ceremonial Wedding Vase. Early 1940s. White, blue, red, and beige on red clay, burnished, on red clay. 23.5×16.3 cm. (dia.) Unknown Donor

Dora Cata. San Juan/Ohkay Owingeh. Seed Jar. c. early 1940s. Tan, white, and red, partially burnished, on red clay, incised. 9.3×8.1 cm. (dia.) Unknown Donor.

Besides the usual searching the web and looking through many books I have also contacted several people to see if they know these two potters. Something terrific that is taking place is, the people that I have contacted are contacting other people. The librarian at the Center of Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis, which I met on my museum trip had someone search the Heard Museum’s  Native American Artist Database which has over 35,000+ records. Unfortunately nothing turned up 🙁 !! A gentleman who is the Curator of Ethnology at Santa Clara is also part of the people out there searching for any information on Petra and Doris.

There was considerable intermarriage between Santa Clara and San Juan/Ohkay Owingeh. It is possible that Petra Tafoya is related to the Santa Clara Tafoya’s. There might be a chance that Dora might be related to a Sam Cata.

My journey in search of Dora and Petra continues…I hope that I will be able to one day blog that I found Petra Tafoya and Dora Cata. That will be a GREAT blog!!