Tradition and Innovation in Cochiti Figurative Pottery

December 04, 2020 until January 30, 2021

Helen Cordero and Family

Cochiti Pueblo potters have been making pottery figurines in various styles since the late 1800s.  In 1964, Helen Cordero began creating what would become known as Storyteller figurines.  These seated human figures, with open mouths and children clinging to their bodies, paid tribute to her pueblo’s history of oral tradition.  Today, Virgil Ortiz and other Cochiti potters continue creating figurines using the same materials and methods as Cordero and her predecessors.  These contemporary works range in style from traditional to boundary-pushing.  This exhibit will include works by both of the aforementioned artists and dozens of others, providing a comprehensive look at the evolution of Cochiti Pueblo figurative pottery.


- Babcock, Barbara A. and Guy and Doris Monthan. The Pueblo Storyteller, The University of Arizona Press, Tucson.1986.

- Mittler, Charlotte. Clay Mirror From Monos to Storytellers: Reflections from Cochiti Pueblo. 2020

- Schaaf, Gregory. Southern Pueblo Pottery 2,000 Artist Biographies, CIAC Press, 2002.3

Recommended Reading: PUEBLO POTTERY FIGURINES The expression of Cultural Perceptions in Clay by Patricia Fogelman Lange