Recollections from my Time in the Indian Service, 1935 – 1943 including my primer Maria Martinez Makes Pottery by Alfreda Ward Maloof, softcover
Alfreda has created two books in this volume. First, a description of her experiences working with American Indians for the Bureau of Indian Affairs before WWII. She began at Pueblo Santa Domingo teaching second and third graders. The Bureau of Indian Affairs sent her to learn about crafts at other pueblos where she became friends with Maria Martinez, even attending the birth of Maria’s grandchild with Maria serving as midwife. This was a friendship that remained for the rest of their lives, frequently visiting each other’s homes.
Frieda was then moved to the Indian School in Santa Fe as Teacher of Fine and Applied Arts with a staff of ten, mostly Native American arts teachers and now well-known craft persons. Finally she was transferred to Browning, Montana to help establish craft co-ops for adult Native American artists on eight reservations. Her career ended when she joined the Navy as a WAVE in the summer of 1944.The second book is a primer that Frieda wrote for her second and third graders, showing Maria Martinez making her famous pots, with simple text and photos. While written for primary students, the pictures and descriptions are equally valuable for adults interested in Maria’s work. It also introduces Maria’s sister Clara who polished the pots before Maria’s husband Julian painted the pots in traditional designs.