Emily Fragua-Tsosie, (Corn Pollen), was born in 1951 in Jemez Pueblo. At the age of 12, she was inspired by her mother, Grace L. Fragua, and grandmother, Emilia Loretto, to make pottery sculptures. They encouraged and motivated her to learn the traditional art of working with clay so that she could add to the Jemez tradition of making art using ancient methods.
After the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, Jemez pottery production essentially stopped. The Jemez were prominent figures in the revolt and when the Spanish returned 12 years later, they made the Jemez a primary target. The Jemez, of course, resisted mightily. Similarly to how so many in central Asia responded to the Mongol invasions, the Jemez sent some folks into the nearby mountains, some prepared to stay and fight and others were sent a distance away, in this case to Hopi and Navajo country. While the fighting didn't last long, the Jemez pottery tradition went into a long slumber: there are extremely few Jemez/Towa pots from before the revolt anywhere and even less from after.
In the 1920s there was an attempted revival of Jemez pottery production and that's when Emilia Loretto probably learned to make pots. The revival lasted only a few years, then went dormant again to be resurrected in the late 1950s and early 1960s. That's when Grace and then Emily got their feet firmly on the path.
By the late 1960s Emily was making her own Corn Maidens and other sculptures. She specialized in making storytellers, nativities (nacimientos), koshares and Corn Maidens. She earned numerous awards at the Santa Fe Indian Market, the Eight Northern Pueblos Arts & Crafts Show, and the Gallup InterTribal Indian Ceremonial.
Emily was the sister of Carol Fragua Gachupin, Clifford Kim Fragua, Bonnie Fragua and Chris Fragua. She taught her husband, Leonard Tsosie and their son, Darrick, how to make pottery the traditional way.
Emily signed her pottery as: "E. Fragua Tsosie, Jemez". Emily passed on in 2021.