I was introduced to Juanita Healing by Verna Nahee (1983-02), a neighbor in the village of Shomopvi, First Mesa. Verna was getting ready to fire pottery and we were talking; Juanita was kidding Verna about staring her fire so late (more wind). Juanita (age 77) was the wife of Dewey Healing, Annie Healing’s son. According to Juanita, Annie had a stroke sometime in the late 1950s or early 1960s and was paralyzed on one side, then bed-ridden for the rest of her life. For the last several years of her life, Annie was taken care of by Juanita. Juanita showed me “Old Lady” Nampeyo’s home and told me Nampeyo family stories. We talked for several hours on May 22 until her “potteries” were finished firing. Juanita’s paint did not adhere very well, so I heated this pottery and applied Vaseline when I returned to Houston.
For a biography and photograph of Juanita, see Collins (1977:12). Born in 1915, Juanita has had a hard, working life. She died in 2006. For a picture of a 1978 pot by Juanita, see Dillingham (1994:43). See 1999-09B for some kiln-fired pottery by Juanita; two finer pots by Juanita were added to the collection as 2004-02 and 2004-09.