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Cochiti Pueblo Black Bear with Cubs

C4001A-bear.jpg

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Seferina Ortiz (1931-2007)
  • Category: Figurines
  • Origin: Cochiti Pueblo
  • Medium: clay, pigment
  • Size: 5-1/4” height x 6-3/4” length
  • Item # C4001A
  • Price: $880.00

Photo of Seferina Ortiz courtesy of Rick Dillingham (Fourteen Families In Pueblo Pottery)Cochiti Pueblo has a long history of producing figurative pottery. It reached its prime in the last quarter of the 19th century and the first quarter of the 20th century. There was a strong revival in the early 1970s with the production of storyteller figurines. Some potters at Cochiti expanded beyond the traditional storyteller figurines. Seferina Ortiz was one of them.

Pueblo potters have been very flexible in providing items that are saleable to tourists and collectors.  It is doubtful that figurines were ever made for in-house use by pueblo people. From the very first, figurines were made to sell through stores in Santa Fe or during the annual Santa Fe Indian Market.  Potters made bowls and jars for their own use but adapted to providing what buyers wanted.

Seferina Ortiz (1931-2007) signatures on the bear's feet.

This female bear, with a fish she caught, carries her treasure to safe ground where she can feed it to her three cubs that are enjoying a free ride on her back.  The black guaco paint used by the artist was applied in strong layers and resulted in a beautiful dark black sheen on all the animals. White outlines around the mouths, feet, and eyes bring the animals visually alive.  This is an excellent figurine by an experienced potter.


Condition: this Cochiti Pueblo Black Bear with Cubs is in original condition

Provenance: from the collection of an Albuquerque client who provided us with over 100 storyteller figurines for our 2015 storyteller exhibit.

Recommended Reading:  A River Apart: The Pottery of Cochiti & Santo Domingo Pueblos by Valerie Verzuh

Photo left of Seferina Ortiz courtesy of Rick Dillingham (Fourteen Families In Pueblo Pottery)

Close up view of the mother bear with her catch.

Seferina Ortiz (1931-2007)
  • Category: Figurines
  • Origin: Cochiti Pueblo
  • Medium: clay, pigment
  • Size: 5-1/4” height x 6-3/4” length
  • Item # C4001A
  • Price: $880.00

C4001A-bear.jpgC4001A-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.