Born in Blanco, New Mexico, Tammy Allen belongs to the Jicarilla Apache tribe, specifically, the Ollero Clan (Mountain People). She is a direct descendant of Jicarilla Apache chiefs and Chief Ouray of the Ute Tribe, who was instrumental in helping establish the Jicarilla Apache reservation.
Allen attended Coronado High School in Gallina, New Mexico and the College of Santa Fe, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she received a Bachelor of Humanities degree in 2000.
Allen is a non-lineage micaceous pottery artist, that is, she does not come from a long line of Jicarilla Apache potters. Nonetheless she is interested in sustaining this tradition for the next generation of Jicarilla Apaches.
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