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Tonita Vigil Peña's Childhood

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Tonita Vigil Peña, also known by her Pueblo Indian name of Quah Ah, was a prominent artist in the 1920’s and 1930’s. She was born on May 10, 1893 to Ascensión Vigil and Natividad Peña in San Ildefonso, New Mexico. Tonita lived their with her family until she was twelve years old, when her mother and younger sister died of influenza. Her father, unable to care for her, sent Tonita to Cochití Pueblo to live with her aunt, an accomplished Pueblo potter. Tonita lived there for the rest of her life and became a teacher at the Santa Fe Indian School and Albuquerque Indian School. She married three times over the course of her life, her first marriage at the age of fifteen and arranged by her village elders. Tonita gave birth to six children in all.

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