Evone “Snowflake” Martinez

San Ildefonso, Cochiti

Curator Evone “Snowflake” Martinez (San Ildefonso and Cochiti Pueblos) learned how to make pottery from her aunt Florence Naranjo, mother, Catherine Trujillo, and grandmother Helen Cordero. Much of her inspiration came from watching her grandfather Joe Aguilar work on his pottery and from the advice he gave her in her very early years. Today her work consists of traditional and contemporary styles. Alongside her pottery-making, she is a seamstress, sewing instructor, and teacher.


Tribal Affiliations:

Artwork Affiliations:

Evone chose the following for the Grounded in Clay exhibit:

San Ildefonso jar

San Ildefonso jar
c. 1905–10
Clay and paint
9½ x 12 in. (24.1 x 30.5 cm)
Collection School for Advanced Research

Navi Poeh¹

Do you feel the light breeze? Do you hear the faint whisper? Come, stand by me, listen carefully and quietly. Close your eyes for a moment and listen, because it is only a faint whisper. This is my story of beauty, happiness, sadness, and everlasting spirits, my poeh, my journey.

My life began with my maker. There were beautiful rituals of throwing cornmeal and praying that my spiritual journey would be filled with memories and life lessons so that perhaps, one day, someone would hear, listen, and learn my story.

I can remember the prayers offered as my clay was gathered from Mother Earth. I can still feel the weight of the rains, hail, and snow. I hear the songs of the wind as she sings, blowing over my earthly womb. My clay spirit quakes as I birth into shape. I learn the language spoken, and songs are sung around me as I am carefully molded, sanded, polished, painted, and fired.

My poeh was filled with happiness the day sacred water was poured into me and I sat next to a child being bathed, presented to the sun, and named. I was kept with this child as they grew, and I learned of dances, six directions, four seasons of life, sacred mountains, colors of the corn, the story of our emergence, of heaven and earth, and the importance of respect for all. I recall the laughter of children, the words of elders, and the stories told to little ones as they sat in front of the fire on a cold night.

My poeh spirit recalls the sadness of a broken heart when a loved one was sent off to the spirit world, a piece of me given to them so that they too could hear their life’s memories as they journeyed on.

Now I sit and rest, but every now and then a breeze will come by, pick up my voice, and carry it. You might feel that breeze, and if you stop for a moment to listen carefully and quietly, you might hear my poeh, my journey.

1 Tewa for “my journey” or “my story.”