Pueblo: Laguna Pueblo
Evelyn Cheromiah, early in her career during the early 1970s, was one of the few potters active in pottery making at Laguna. She worked under a federal grant for a period, helping to teach other Laguna people the art, history and techniques of pottery making. Once during an interview, Cheromiah explained why pottery making declined at Laguna. Laguna men were hired for cash wages when the railroad came. Beginning in the 1950s, they worked in the uranium mine and later at Omnitec. Laguna women could afford to buy cloth and commercial goods. They found it was easy to trade these goods for pottery and other handmade items. Acoma is one of the pueblos that traded with women at Laguna. In fact, it is the beautiful large ollas from Acoma that inspired Evelyn Cheromiah to begin making the larger pots. She is respected for her contributions. She made polychrome ollas and pots with delicate, fine line hatching. Her pottery is highly sought after by collectors.
Rick Dillingham states that “Laguna potters Evelyn and daughter, Lee Ann Cheromiah, ‘talk’ to the spirits of deceased potters while making new pottery to guide them in their work.”
Adapted from Southern Pueblo Pottery: 2000 Artist Biographies by Gregory Schaaf.