Lupita Elsie Roybal Vigil

San Ildefonso Pueblo Artist

Borther: Roybal, Alfonso Awa Tsireh

Sister: Roybal Martinez, Santana

Lupita was an excellent potter born into one of the Roybal families that were very artistic. Her siblings included Alfonso “Awa Tsireh” Roybal, Santana Roybal Martinez and Mella Roybal. Her work is often confused with Lupita Vigil Martinez, with ones madden name being the same as the others married name.

lupita elsie roybal vigil She married Romando Vigil in 1931 after his first wife, Juanita Montoya Vigil, passed away in 1930. She helped raise his children from Juanita which included Carmalita, Tom and Albert. All three went on to be artists at some level. Our understanding is they were very close to Lupita and knew her as their mother.

Lupita (Elsie) made very nice corn meal pots and did her own designs. Her work included the traditional bowls and plates. Her feather designs were very wide compared to typical San Ildefonso feather designs.

Lupita occasionally drew paintings that Romando signed as his own. She was an excellent pottery and unknown painter who should be well respected in the history of San Ildefonso Pueblo artists. Her work is rare and hard to find. To date, we have not located a painting with her signature yet we believe she did paint and considering her pottery designs, she was probably a fine painter.

lupita elsie roybal vigil place
(Example of Lupita “Elsie” Roybal Vigil plate)

elsie roybal vigil signature
(Signed "Lupita R Vigil")

Lupita and Romando never had children and had a rocky relationship. Lupita, her nickname was Elsie, later had one child Joey Vigil whos father was Wilbert Thomas Johnson. Elsie’s sister, Santana Roybal Martinez, convinced Elsie to say the father was Romando Vigil, hence Joey’s last name is Vigil.