Carmelita Dunlap (1925-2000) was raised by her aunts Desideria Montoya and Maria Martinez after her mother died. As those aunts were in the heart of the pottery making scene at San Ildefonso Pueblo, Carmelita grew up learning the art from the best.
As an adult, Carmelita earned 20 First Place Ribbons while exhibiting her pottery at the Santa Fe Indian Market, a feat not achieved by anyone before or since. She was designated a Living National Treasure during the Nixon administration.
Carmelita passed her knowledge on to her children Martha Appleleaf and Carlos Sunrise Dunlap.