New Mexico Historic Women Marker Initiative Unveils Latest Marker
Medanales Celebrates the Life and Achievements of Weaving Matriarch
Known as the matriarch of Hispanic weaving in New Mexico, Doña Agueda Salazar Martinez was honored when an Official Scenic Historic Marker was dedicated in her memory on June 12.
Events began with a 10th Anniversary Mass for the Repose of the Soul at 10 a.m. at San Antonio Catholic Church in Medanales. Immediately after the mass, the marker was unveiled and blessed in an official ribbon-cutting ceremony sponsored by the New Mexico Historic Women Marker Initiative. Members of the Doña Agueda family, her friends and community were invited to the ceremonies. The Marker is located on U.S. Highway 84 near mile post 203 at the turn to Medanales.
The marker honors Doña Agueda, who died in 2000 at the age of 102, as a founder of one of the leading weaving dynasties of northern New Mexico. She learned to weave at a very young age and was known for her complex designs and use of natural dyes. She was the subject of the Academy Award-nominated documentary film, "Agueda Martinez: Our People, Our Country." Her weaving is carried on by 52 direct descendants and can be seen today in many museums, including the Smithsonian.
The ceremony included an unveiling and ribbon cutting of the marker with a blessing by Father James E. Marshall. A lunch reception followed at the historic home of Doña Agueda, hosted by her daughter and son-in-law, Louisa and Amdao Garcia and other members of the family.
The marker is one of 64 markers honoring the contributions of New Mexico's women and is sponsored by the New Mexico Historic Women Marker Initiative, a project of the New Mexico Women's Forum. The Initiative received funding from Governor Bill Richardson and the 2006 New Mexico Legislature to work with New Mexico communities to develop nominations of historically significant women for placement on new roadside markers. Prior to the Initiative, none of the state's more than 620 Official Scenic Historic Markers directly honored women and their contributions to state history.