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Tammie Allen (1964-present) is a Native American potter from Jicarilla Apache, New Mexico, United States. She was born in Blanco, New Mexico. She belongs to the Jicarilla Apache {Ollero Clan (the Mountain People} and is a descendant of Jicarilla Apache Chieftains and Ute Chief Ouray, Ute Tribe. These men were instrumental in helping establish the Jicarilla Apache reservation through an Executive Order (United States) signed on February 11, 1887 by President Grover Cleveland.

She attended Corondao High School in Gallina, New Mexico and received a Bachelor of Humanities from the College of Santa Fe, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In 1995, she began working with micaceous clay, to keep the Jicarilla Apache pottery tradition alive by using Native American pottery techniques.

Since she is a non-lineage Micaceous pottery artist, meaning she does not come from a long line of Jicarilla Apache Potters, it became important to keep the making of pottery alive for the next generation of Jicarilla Apaches. The Jicarilla Apaches are one of the six Athapascan groups that migrated out of Canada, some say between 1300 to 1500 AD. During that time, their traditional homelands spawned across New Mexico, southern Colorado and western Oklahoma.

Due to increase in a diverse population, Manifest Destiny , and Indian Wars, the traditional cultural and economic lifeways became strained. Many had died due to famine, Indian Wars, including the Battle of Cieneguilla and new disease they had no resistance for. During their declining nomadic history, the Jicarilla Apaches started settling the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, New Mexico.

It is during this time, the Jicarilla Apache began subsidizing their lifelihood through sales of micaceous clay pottery and basketry. They also learned farming from their Pueblo neighbors. Eventually,the United State President, Grover Cleveland, created the Jicarilla Apache Reservation.

In the late 1990s, Tammie began making micaceous pottery and began presenting her work to native American art galleries,and New Mexico Museums, she presented pieces that didn't quite look like micaceous cooking pots.

Her pottery was light, and well balanced and highly polished. She sold her first pieces to the Cottonwood Trading Post, in San Ildefonso Pueblo, New Mexico,the Denver Museum of Natural History, Denver, Colorado, Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian. This introduction, has paved way for other Jicarilla Apache Potters, since there were a very few Jicarilla Apaches practing the art of pottery making.

In 2005, she was accepted and entered her first, Santa Fe Indian Market. It was during this show, she won a first and third in her division.

References and Further Readings[]

Blom, John and Hayes, Allen - Southwestern Pottery, Anasazi to Zuni, 1999.

External links[]

  • "Pottery by Tammie Allen at Traditional Pueblo Arts [1]".
  • "Pottery Demonstration at Baylor Strecker Museum [2]".
  • "Awards,Tammie Allen, SWAIA,Southwestern Association of Indian Arts [3]".