Lena Chio Charlie, Hopi-Tewa Potter


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Hallmark signature of Lena Chio Charlie (ca.1908-ca.1960s) Corn Woman

Hopi Tewa artist Lena Chio Charlie is known to have been an active potter from 1933 to 1961. If the statement below is accurate, we know she was born before her dad died in 1918. Assuming she was less than 20 years of age when she married for the second time in 1928, then her birth year would probably have been 1908. (Museum of Northern Arizona publication Plateau, Vol 48, Nos 3 & 4, Spring 1976)

According to one source, Lena Chio Charlie (1888-1978) Corn Woman was a granddaughter of Nampeyo of Hano and Lesou. She was the daughter of their oldest son, Qoo-ma-lets-tewa (Mad Bear), who died in the year 1918 because of the flu. She married her second husband, Victor Charlie, in 1928. (Personal conversation with Maurice M. Bloom, Jr., 1983.)

In another reference, she is listed as Lena Charlie, and the sister to Irene Shupla and Hazel Shupla, and the mother of Sunbeam David, which would make her the grandmother of Neil David, the well-known Hopi-Tewa painter and katsina doll carver. (Schaaf)

In still another reference, she is said to be the niece of Nampeyo. When Nampeyo's vision was deteriorating, and she was unable to paint her pottery anymore, she would often take pieces to Lena for her to paint, if Annie or Fannie were unavailable to help their mom. (Kramer)

I think it is safe to say she was related to Nampeyo, but the relationship is not definitively defined.

Hopi Pueblo artist signature - Lena Chio Charlie (1888-1978) Corn Woman

References:

Hopi-Tewa Pottery 500 Artist Biographies by Gregory Schaaf

Nampeyo and Her Pottery by Barbara Kramer

Relative Links: Nampeyo of HanoLena Charlie, Irene ShuplaNeil David, Katsina Doll, Annie NampeyoFannie NampeyoSouthwest Indian Pottery

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