National Museum of Women in the Arts
Marie Zieu Chino
1907 - 1984
Photograph of Marie Zieu Chino, by Rick Dillingham, courtesy of the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA
Place of Birth:
Phonetic Spelling:
mah-REE (z-yoo) CHEE-noh
Minority status:
Native American
Native American Tribe:
Work Type/Media:
Decorative and utilitarian works
Artistic Role(s):
Traditional Art
Artist's Biography:
The people of the Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico, called “Sky City” for its spectacular location on a high mesa, have been making pottery for over a thousand years. Pottery making is a skill passed down from one generation to the next, each generation fusing new methods and designs with traditional motifs and techniques.

Along with Lucy M. Lewis and Jessie Garcia, Marie Zieu Chino was a pioneer in the innovation and revival of the Acoma pottery tradition. Combining masterful use of positive and negative geometric compositions, life forms and abstract symbols, Chino fused the stylized adaptations of ancient Anasazi, Mogollon, and Mimbres ware with traditional Acoma, Zia and Hopi decoration. Chino, like her mother and predecessors, hand-coiled, smoothed, polished, and outdoor-fired her work, gathering the same native clays and pigments to be hand-ground and applied with delicate yucca fiber brushes.

Chino was particularly proficient at painting popular Acoma symbols: rain and thunder clouds, parrots, and intricate geometric and scroll patterns. Her fluid designs, applied to works ranging from large storage jars to delicate ceremonial pots, added new levels of sophistication and beauty to the traditional art form.

Chino was a prominent potter for over six decades, and won many prestigious awards. She won her first award at the Santa Fe Indian Market when she was only fifteen years old. In 1998, Chino was recognized by the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Place(s) of Residence:
Acoma Pueblo
Where Trained/Schools:
Related Visual Artists:
friend of Lucy M. Lewis mother of Rose Chino grandmother of Tena Garcia
Fellowships, grants and awards:
Lifetime Achievement Award, Southwestern Association for Indian Arts, Santa Fe, NM, USA (1998) Second Place, Sixty-first Annual Indian Market, Southwestern Association for Indian Arts, Santa Fe, NM, USA (1982)
Earliest exhibition:
NMWA exhibition(s):
American Indian Pottery from the Collection
Related places
unknown (died at)