Trading Post Times
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
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.
The Fragua Family: Gathering around
Matriarch Juanita are (left to right) Tablita,
Cliff, Glendora, Star and Betty Jean. Also
A Classic Juanita Fragua
B.J . Fragua Pottery
Glendora Fragua Pottery
Star Fragua and Mar-
cus Wall collaboration
Tablita Fragua Pottery
Above: J.B. Moore with
weaver outside Hogan.
Right: From River Trading
Post Collection of J.B. Moore
Right top: Variant of Plate
XIII, The Navajo, 1911
Right bottom: Classic J.B.
Moore Crystal weaving. Not
Far right: Variant of Plate II,
The Navajo, 1903.