Pueblo: Santo Domingo Kewa Pueblo

Born in 1936 and she learned the art of working with clay from her mother, Miguelita Aguila. Rafaelita has been creating pottery since 1953 and follows the traditional methods for creating pottery of the Aguilar family, which began in the early 1900’s. She harvests the clay on the Pueblo and to builds her pots using the coil technique. She fires the pots outdoors in the traditional manner. Using natural pigments, the pot has a burnished black-on-black finish.  Rafaelita specializes in exceptionally large pottery vessels, which are stone-polished and pit-fired. She is the aunt of Robert Aguilar.

According to Dr. Schaaf “Rafaelita may be considered a relatively undiscovered master potter. Because she rarely entered her pots at Indian art shows, her work has not won ribbons. However, the quality of her work is commendable.” (Southern Pueblo Pottery: 2000 Artist Biographies)