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National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Popovi Da was the son of Pueblo potter Maria Montoya Martinez and a veteran of the Manhattan Project.

Born Antonio Martinez, Da grew up in the San Ildefonso Pueblo, near the area that would eventually become the site of the Manhattan Project. He was drafted into the Special Engineer Detachment of the U.S. Army and served as a machinist under John H. Williams at Los Alamos.

After the war, he changed his name to Popovi Da, the Tewa word for “Red Fox.” He worked with his mother for many years and became a renowned artist in his own right. 

Popovi Da's Timeline
1923 Apr 10th Born in San Ildefonso Pueblo, New Mexico.
19441945 Served as a Manhattan Project machinist with the SED.
1971 Oct 17th Died in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Popovi Da with Manhattan Project Scientists Bill Elmore, Matt Sands, and Bob Brown. Photo Courtesy of the Robert JS Brown Collection

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