Marking NM’s Historic Women: Cleofas Martinez Jaramillo

Photo Credit: Palace of the Governors Photo Archives
Mrs. Cleofas Martinez Jaramillo In Her Wedding Hat
Photographer: Anderson Studio
Date: 1901
POG Negative Number 009920

Cleofas Martinez Jaramillo (1878–1956)

(SIDE 1) By the early 20th century, Spanish traditions hundreds of years old began to fade from the northern New Mexico landscape. There was concerted effort to preserve them by newly arrived artists and people whose families lived the traditions for generations. Cleofas wrote four books that record oral traditions in writing. Spanish Fairy Tales was published in 1939. A cookbook followed and after that two more about cultural traditions including Shadows of the Past, which describes the fall tradition of gathering piñon nuts in the woods around her native Arroyo Hondo. (SIDE 2) “Cleo” wrote about customs she also helped preserve and revive. By 1935 she had lost her husband and three children, but found inspiration from an article about preserving culture and clothing from the pre-Civil War South. It inspired her to found La Sociedad Folklόrica, which preserves Spanish folklore, colcha embroidery, traditional attire, tinwork, literature, dance, music, and art. The society continues to bring these traditions to new generations by making them a part of annual events and celebrations held in northern New Mexico.

Roadside Marker Location: Taos County, Arroyo Hondo, Intersection of NM Highway 522 and Sangre de Cristo Road

You can view a county by county list of the Historic Women Mile Markers in this pdf.

You can view a map of the Historic Women Mile Markers at

March is Women’s History Month. During this month we’ll be highlighting some of the women featured on New Mexico’s Historic Women Roadside Markers. Text provided by our colleagues at New Mexico Historic Preservation Division