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Trading Post Times

Page 2

From the Walatowa Pueblo comes a most talented family.

Mother, and matriarch of the family, Juanita Fragua is a member of

the corn clan and was instrumental in the pottery revival at Jemez

Pueblo. Juanita has made a major contribution to revitalizing and

promoting Jemez Pueblo art.

Daughters Betty Jean and Glendora learned the art of pottery at the

hands of their mother, and both have become highly accomplished

artists, each with their own distinctive style and approach to the

pottery art.

Son, Cliff, has become a renowned and very important American

Indian sculptor. Cliff’s work is on permanent display at many im-

portant venues, including the U.S. Capitol Building showcase of his

Popé sculpture .

Grandchildren Star, in collaboration with Marcus Wall, and Tablita

also have taken to pottery creation, and the future promises to be

bright as their work develops.

Visit River Trading Post to enjoy the work of the Fragua


In 1896, John B. Moore purchased a trading post at Washington Pass,

New Mexico and promptly named it “Crystal” after the sparkling

mountain spring that ran by his place. He built a rugged log post and

house that would enable him to survive the harsh winters at the 8,000

feet elevation at rugged Washington Pass.

During the 1890’s, there was little food for the Navajos and virtually no

market for their wool. Moore figured that if they couldn’t sell wool,

perhaps they could sell the wool as blankets, especially to the wealthy

folks in the East.

Working with the finest weavers in the Crystal area, Moore was highly

visionary. The traditional Navajo weaving was a wearing blanket.

Moore encouraged the weavers toward heavier weavings that could be

used as a floor rug.

Moore also was influential in developing a style with oriental motifs,

that included multiple borders, large center medallions, hooks and

other unique design elements. His thinking is that this style would ap-

peal to the folks “back east.”

In 1903, Moore lifted an idea from Sears, Roebuck and Montgomery

Ward and the mail-order merchandising technique. He published his

first catalog, carefully noting that there might be variations from the

pictures in his catalog since each weaving was hand made.

Moore had great respect for the weavers, and was the first Anglo ever

to mention the weavers by name and even to show their pictures.

In 1911, Moore abruptly left the Navajo reservation without a trace,

(some say because of a scandal that was not his fault.)

Today, J.B. Moore’s classic weavings are prized possessions and his

legacy lives on.

J.B. M


: T






The Fragua Family: Gathering around

Matriarch Juanita are (left to right) Tablita,

Cliff, Glendora, Star and Betty Jean. Also

Marcus Wall.

A Classic Juanita Fragua

Wedding Vase

B.J . Fragua Pottery

Cliff Fragua


Glendora Fragua Pottery

Star Fragua and Mar-

cus Wall collaboration

Tablita Fragua Pottery

Above: J.B. Moore with

weaver outside Hogan.

(Credit: Navajo


Right: From River Trading

Post Collection of J.B. Moore

Crystal weavings

Right top: Variant of Plate

XIII, The Navajo, 1911

Right bottom: Classic J.B.

Moore Crystal weaving. Not

in catalogs.

Far right: Variant of Plate II,

The Navajo, 1903.