Maria Naranjo was born in 1919 at Santa Clara Pueblo. Her parents were Avristo Naranjo and Amelia Tafoya. She was an exhibitor for many years at the Santa Fe Indian Market and the Eight Northern Pueblos Arts & Crafts Show.
For the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the railroad in Espanola, Maria received a special commission to recreate a late 19th century steam locomotive and train cars. She was recreating a form first created by Santana Tafoya Gutierrez and sold by her at the train station next to Santa Clara Pueblo in the 1880s.