San Ildefonso (Po-woh-ge-oweenge)

San Ildefonso is a small Tewa-speaking Pueblo located north of Santa Fe along the Rio Grande, a site they may have occupied since before 1300 A.D. Stunning scenery surrounds the Pueblo, with dramatic mesas and mountains rising around it, and the river flowing into White Rock Canyon to the south. The San Ildefonso people maintain a strong sense of identity, preserving traditional ceremonies, dances and practices passed down from their ancestors. Today, San Ildefonso is one of the best known Pueblos despite being one of the smallest, made famous in the early 20th century by the black-on-black pottery style pioneered by legendary potter Maria Martinez. At the time, San Ildefonso was an agriculture-based society with a dwindling population, and this beautiful pottery style that features highly polished and black matte finishes dramatically revived the economic and cultural life of the Pueblo. Since then, the San Ildefonso’ economy has been deeply rooted in the production of traditional arts and crafts. Black-on-black pottery continues to be one of the most prized pottery styles in the world, along with San Ildefonso redware and polychrome, and San Ildefonso potters today are known for producing incredibly artful, high-quality vessels through traditional methods. In addition to pottery, San Ildefonso artists create handcrafted jewelry, moccasins, weavings, carvings and paintings.