Santa Fe Living Treasures – Elder Stories

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Cordelia Coronado



Honored December, 1991

Cordelia Coronado

Cordelia Coronado's life is rooted in tradition and the land. All her activities, including her personal life, her community service, and her art, harmoniously function to preserve the way of life she loves.

Mother of eight, Medanales postmaster for thirty years, teacher, gardener extraordinaire, choir leader, and water rights activist, Cordelia is above all known for her fine Rio Grande Valley weaving.

"I am very content here, doing what I am doing. I'm happy with what I am, and I love it. I have no ambitions to amass physical possessions or money. As long as I have a good roof over my head and food on my table, that's all I need," she says.

Cordelia traces her weaving lineage to her paternal grandfather, Isidore Martinez, whose work influenced the Chimay6 weaving houses. At ninety-six, her mother was still weaving and selling her famous rag rugs. Born in Medanales in 1933, Cordelia eventually left for California but returned in 1957 to take over as postmaster when her father retired. Working in the afternoons left her plenty of time for weaving during the mornings "when the winters were long." She taught weaving from her studio and at Ghost Ranch as well. "Weaving is very therapeutic," she says. "On a bad day, it melts troubles away."