Looking to the Past
In an effort to breathe new life into Pueblo art and community, anthropologists encouraged potters to look to their past for inspiration. In 1907-08 the School of American Archaeology (now the School of American Research) conducted excavations at Bandelier National Monument. Maria's husband, Julian, worked as part of the excavation crew, and it was at this time that they met Edgar Lee Hewett, the archaeologist directing the excavations.
In the following years, Maria and Julian continued their contact with Hewett, then Director of the Museum of New Mexico. Maria and her sisters regularly demonstrated pottery making at the museum. Julian worked for a time as a custodian for the museum, where he continued to find inspiration in the museum's collections of historic and pre-contact pottery.