Nuclear Museum Logo
Nuclear Museum Logo

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

Related Profiles

W.D. Norwood

Hanford, WA

Max R. Bleakney

Los Alamos, NM

Max worked at Los Alamos during the Manhattan Project. 

Matthew Sands

Los Alamos, NM

Matthew Sands (1919-2014) was an American physicist. In 1943, Matthew Sands began working for the Naval Ordnance Laboratory and developed two types of influence mines before being disillusioned by the bureaucracy of the navy.

John E. Mikkali

X-10 Graphite Reactor

Attended the University of Minnesota.