From ancient times, clay figures were present in the Pueblo pottery tradition. Figurines, especially human female figures, were an integral element in the Anasazi culture. Between 1500 and 1875 there is little evidence of figurative work because missionaries and then scholars discouraged and denounced the making of figurative clay pieces. However, since that time figurative sculpture has flourished, especially at Cochiti and Jemez Pueblos, both just south of Santa Fe, in the forms of animals, birds, clowns, caricatures of outsiders and, more recently, images of mothers, grandmothers and grandfathers telling stories and singing to children. With the coming of the railroad to New Mexico in the late 1800s, Native American artists delighted in mimicking their new visitors in storyteller sculptures, and their caricatures included supplicating padres, tourists, businessmen, cowboys and dancing bears.
Storytellers are one example of contemporary hand built Pueblo pottery. Creating them is an art and a spiritual undertaking, in which the gathering of local clays and of native plants and minerals used for painting, are meaningful and sacred events. Built, smoothed and shaped by hand, polished with a stone, fired in an outdoor self-consuming kiln, and decorated with ancient designs are all a part of the potter’s journey. The storyteller tells the story.
If you live near or are planning on visiting the Sedona, AZ area, please make a trip to our showroom/warehouse. Here we have thousands of products on display as well as helpful owners to assist you with your choices and pack your purchases to carry with you or for shipping. If you have a question about our Native American products, feel free to contact us toll free at 800-304-3290; we’re only a click or call away and we look forward to hearing from you. We welcome your inquiries and hope to hear from you soon.