Bryans Gallery

Southwest Native American Arts and Jewelry in Taos since 1982

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  • Small Jemez Storyteller by Judy Toya

Small Jemez Storyteller by Judy Toya

110.00
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Small Jemez Storyteller by Judy Toya

110.00

Small, handmade and hand painted storyteller with two babies by Judy Toya of Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico.

Approx: 5 7/8" x 2 1/2" x 3 1/4".

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Small, handmade and hand painted storyteller with two babies by Judy Toya of Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico.

Approx: 5 7/8" x 2 1/2" x 3 1/4".

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 usually set their prices by the number of children on each storyteller.