Large Storyteller Figurine with 9 Children by Helen Cordero

C4641C-storyteller.jpg

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Helen Cordero, Cochiti Pueblo Potter
  • Category: Figurines
  • Origin: Cochiti Pueblo, KO-TYIT
  • Medium: clay, pigments
  • Size:
    10-½” height x 8” width x 11” length
  • Item # C4641C
  • Price: $10500

This storyteller figurine was created by Cochiti Pueblo artist Helen Cordero. At over ten inches in height and eleven in depth, it is one of the more substantial pieces we’ve seen from the influential artist. This sizable man sits comfortably with his mouth open, passing down pueblo history to an excitable audience. The typical orange and black pigments over cream slip were used to create clothing, hair and facial features. We’d date this piece to the mid 1980s.

The storyteller’s audience includes a total of nine children. Some sit or stand on the man’s legs; others climb his arms and back. Each shoulder has been claimed by a child, one of whom appears to be holding something close to the chest. Cordero gave each child uniquely designed clothing, and completed their faces using a simple but effective combination of dots and dashes. This large and lively group creates a wonderful viewing experience.

Artist Signature of Helen Cordero, Cochiti Pueblo PotterThe bottom of the piece is signed Helen Cordero Cochiti, N.M.

Helen Cordero (1915-1994) was a Cochiti Pueblo potter who is most often recognized as the inventor of the storyteller figurine. Cordero sold her storyteller figurines at the neighboring Santo Domingo Pueblo‘s feast day markets. As her work became more widely recognized, she often found herself with a long list of commissioned pieces to complete for her collectors. Additional creations would be sold to dealers in the nearby cities, including Adobe Gallery, which was located in Albuquerque at the time. Cordero passed away in 1994.


Condition: excellent condition, some visible cracks in pigment, but nothing broken or repaired

Provenance: this Large Storyteller Figurine with 9 Children by Helen Cordero is from a private California collection

Reference and Recommended ReadingThe Pueblo Storyteller: Development of a Figurative Ceramic Tradition by Barbara Babcock Ph.D.

TAGS: storyteller figurinepotteryCochiti PuebloAntonita "Toni" SuinaBuffy CorderoTim CorderoEvon TrujilloHelen Cordero, Cochiti Pueblo Potter

Alternate close-up view of the face of this storyteller figurine

Helen Cordero, Cochiti Pueblo Potter
  • Category: Figurines
  • Origin: Cochiti Pueblo, KO-TYIT
  • Medium: clay, pigments
  • Size:
    10-½” height x 8” width x 11” length
  • Item # C4641C
  • Price: $10500

C4641C-storyteller.jpgC4641C-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.