Bryans Gallery

Southwest Native American Arts and Jewelry in Taos since 1982

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  • Jemez Pueblo Storyteller by Alma Maestas

Jemez Pueblo Storyteller by Alma Maestas

435.00
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Jemez Pueblo Storyteller by Alma Maestas

435.00

Grandfather Storyteller with six babies, handmade and hand painted, by renowned Jemez Pueblo potter Alma Maestas. 

Approx: 8.5" x 6" x 6.25".  


 

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Grandfather Storyteller with six babies, handmade and hand painted, by renowned Jemez Pueblo potter Alma Maestas. 

Approx: 8.5" x 6" x 6.25".  


 

Alma Maestas

Alma Maestas (b.1941) learned the art of pottery making from her mother at age seven.  She made her first storyteller in 1969, just a few years after Helen Cordero invented the form, so she can be considered as one of the first generation of pueblo potters to make storytellers.  Her work is featured on the cover of the third edition of the book, Pueblo Stories and Storytellers, and is in the permanent collection of the Smithsoian Muesem.

Storytellers

Figurative pottery comes from an old tradition. Prehistoric potters made several different animal and human forms. The Spanish clergy, who arrived in New Mexico, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were zealous in destroying these pieces. A result of this persecution was a 400 year gap in Middle Rio Grande figurative pottery pieces. There is no evidence of these pieces from the 1500’s to 1875.

Helen Cordero created the first storyteller in 1964. Before Helen, there was a figure called the singing mother that had one child on the lap.  Helen modeled her figure on her grandfather, and had five children climbing on him, and the modern storyteller was born. In 1965 Helen took first place with one of her storytellers at SWAIA’S Santa Fe Indian Market.  By 1979, there were ten storyteller potters and their numbers grew rapidly. Today, families have trademark features on their storytellers. The form of the figure, a facial expression, traditional slips and contemporary colors set their pieces apart from each other.  Some families create animals, some human forms both male and female. Artists ususaly set their prices by the number of children on each storyteller.