Storyteller with Twenty Figures

  • Helen Cordero, Storyteller with Twenty Figures, ca. 1985, fired clay with slip and beeweed, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Chuck and Jan Rosenak and museum purchase made possible by Mrs. Gibson Fahnestock, 1997.124.148

Luce Center Label

Born into the Fox clan, Cochiti Pueblo, in New Mexico, Helen Cordero is best remembered for her clay storytellers. In Pueblo lore, storytellers represent the power of story and tradition. Cordero's figures always have closed eyes and open mouths, as if they are singing traditional Cochiti songs. She carved small figures of children climbing around the storytellers, clinging to their clothing and listening intently to show the importance of passing down Cochiti customs to the next generation. (Rosenak, Museum of American Folk Art Encyclopedia, 1990)

Luce Object Quote

“His eyes are closed because he’s thinking; his mouth is open because he’s singing.” Helen Cordero, quoted in Rosenak, Museum of American Folk Art Encyclopedia, 1990

Title
Storyteller with Twenty Figures
Artist
Date
ca. 1985
On View
Dimensions
11 1/8 x 7 7/8 x 11 in. (28.3 x 20.0 x 27.9 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Chuck and Jan Rosenak and museum purchase made possible by Mrs. Gibson Fahnestock

Mediums
Mediums Description
fired clay with slip and beeweed
Classifications
Keywords
  • Recreation – leisure – storytelling
  • Performing arts – music – voice
  • Figure group
Object Number
1997.124.148
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

More from artist

ca. 1984
fired clay, with slip and beeweed

More Artworks from the Collection

ca. 1989
fired clay, slip and beeweed
November 14, 1987
fired clay, slip and beeweed
ca. 1984
fired clay, with slip and beeweed
ca. 1992
fired clay, slip, beeweed, stick, and leather