San Ildefonso Pueblo is located at the foot of the Pajarito Mountains , approximately 25 miles northwest of Santa Fe, New Mexico. The ancestors of San Ildefonso came from the area surrounding Mesa Verde around 1300 AD. The Rio Grande, which flows through the Pueblo, provided a perfect location for irrigating their crops.
The San Ildefonso people speak the Tewa language. The modern population of the Pueblo is about one thousand members (estimates vary between five hundred and fifteen hundred).
In the early twentieth century, the future of the Pueblo was unalterably changed with the emergence of the unsurpassed potter Maria Martinez, who with her husband Julian reinvented the Black-on-Black pottery for which the Pueblo would become famous. San Ildefonso is now home to some of the greatest American Indian potters, and highly polished blackware is still featured prominently in much of their work. Extraordinarily fine polychromes and deeply carved or incised blackware and redware are also produced.