Corn Moquino

Santa Clara Pueblo

Born in October 1929, Corn Moquino was the son of Bernina Moquino of Zia Pueblo and a Hopi father. In the early 1930s the Bureau of Indian Affairs embarked on a mission to finish the destruction of tribal cultures by forcing the children into government-operated boarding schools far from the students' homes. Corn was one of those children, forcibly removed from Zia and placed in an "Indian" boarding school. He hated the place and ran away at the age of 12. First he found work as a ranch hand and sheep herder. Then he traveled all around the country, learning about the people and about himself.

Corn spent several years as a backup singer with Hank Williams Jr. and other country artists of the era. Then he met the love of his life, Christine Herrera, married her, moved to her home at Santa Clara and settled down.

At Santa Clara Corn became intrigued by Santa Clara pottery and essentially taught himself how to make it. That was in the early 1960s, the early days in the development of sgraffito techniques. Corn was one of the first to test those waters. He quickly developed a passion for it and was soon earning awards at venues like the Santa Fe Indian Market, the Eight Northern Pueblos Arts & Crafts Show, the Gallup InterTribal Ceremonial, New Mexico State Fair, Heard Museum Guild Indian Arts Fair & Market and others across the country. Corn was also one of the Santa Clara potters featured in the 1985 show at the Sid Deutsch Gallery in New York, along with Margaret Tafoya, Toni Roller, LuAnn Tafoya and others.

Corn liked to make black and red-on-black jars decorated with sgraffito designs of corn, roadrunners, eagles and pueblo scenes. He also liked to mix Hopi and Zia designs into his pieces, in remembrance of his own heritage.

Corn taught all his kids to make pottery and some have made a career of it. Corn passed on in 2016.

Black jar with sienna spots and a sgraffito avanyu and geometric design
Sgraffito avanyu and geometric design on a black jar with sienna spots
5.25 in H by 5.75 in Dia
Miniature red jar with a sgrafito fawn, kiva step and geometric design
Miniature red jar decorated with a sgraffito kiva step, fawn and geometric design
1.5 in H by 1.25 in Dia
Sgraffito hummingbird, flower and rock art design on a black jar with sienna spots
A black jar with sienna spots and a sgraffito hummingbird, flower and rock art design around and above the shoulder
3.25 in Dia by 2.75 in H

Santa Clara Pueblo Potters