Lucy M. Lewis, ca. 1890-1992

Award-Winning Native American Potter

Series: Outstanding Native Women | Story 9

Last updated 5/17/2023 at 2:18pm

Lucy Martin Lewis was born in a mesa in Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico, to Lola Santiago and Martin Ortiz. Her actual birthdate is unknown. But when the eldest son, Ivan, joined the Marines during World War II, the family changed their last name to Lewis.

Lucy would spend her entire life in Acoma Pueblo, and as a seven-year-old, she learned to fashion pottery in much the same way as many other Native American potters: through observing and experimenting. With young Lucy, it was mainly by watching her great aunt, Helice Vallo. Using local clay from an area that only local Pueblo dwellers knew abo...

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