Mata Ortiz: Who?

Who is / was Mata Ortiz?

Juan Mata Ortiz was a general in the Mexican army during the Mexican war with the Apaches. He was killed in 1882.

In 1924, the town of Pearson, Chihuahua, Mexico was renamed Mata Ortiz in honor of the general. Today the 1,100 citizens often refer to their town as Mata. In Barrio Porvenir, you can find Avenida Pearson.

Who is Juan Quezada?

Juan Quezada Celado, a resident of Mata Ortiz born May 6, 1940, is usually credited with being one of the early pioneers in teaching himself and others on the ancient craft of pottery making that is commonly called the Casas Grandes style.


Juan was subsequently discovered by Spencer MacCallum. And the rest, as they say, is history. The Mata Ortiz pottery phenomenon was born.

Who is Spencer MacCallum?

Born in 1931, Spencer MacCallum graduated from Princeton University with a Bachelors in art history and received a Masters of Arts in social anthropology from the University of Washington. He specialized in studying the life, culture and stateless society of Northwest Coast Indians.

In 1976, he met Juan Quezada.

Spencer died in 2020.