Teresita Naranjo of Santa Clara Pueblo

Teresita Naranjo

b.1919 (I think I'm 1,000 years old!”)
“I used to tell Stella [Chavarria], look at the polishing, that’s what shows. Don’t work for money work for a name.
[From a printed paper she prepared] “I was born and raised in Santa Clara Pueblo and have lived there all my life. My parents were Victor and Christina Naranjo. I was born on May 1, 1919. On the fourth day I was given my Indian name by a midwife, she named me Bay-Po-Vi, which means Apple Blossom: then later on they baptized me in the Catholic Church and gave me my name Teresita Naranjo.
“I did not know my grandparents on my father’s side, they were dead before I was born, but on my mother’s side my grandparents were Geronimo and Sara fina Tafoya. They have always done potteries all their lives. Of course, my grandfather was a very good farmer: he always raised his own crops and was always busy in the daytime, but when his work was done he would always do pottery work in the evenings to help my grandmother.
“My grandfather used to tell us the story about the waterdragon, which is called Avanyu in Tewa language which was spoken in his days. However the way he told it was the waterdragon brought luck, health, peace, joy and happiness as well as rain and good crops to the Indian people and to all people on the earth. So he said whoever buys your pottery with the waterdragon design, he too will always have all those good things.
“Some people may say pottery making is a hobby; it is more than a hobby thank God. It means my life. I have a business right in my home. I work to make a living. I have supported my children with pottery and given them their education and their needs since my husband died in 1950. Today my pottery means the handiwork of God.”