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Native American Story Tellers

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  • Judy Decker
    Dear Friends in Art Education. Dawn Steinecker has brought up the topic of Story Tellers on Getty ArtsEdNet Talk. After seeing an ancient Mayan Story Teller at
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 3, 2003
      Dear Friends in Art Education.

      Dawn Steinecker has brought up the topic of Story Tellers on Getty ArtsEdNet
      Talk. After seeing an ancient Mayan Story Teller at the Art Institute of
      Chicago (see Amerindian image 3
      http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/galleries/page3.html )- my
      Pre-Columbian unit became a Story Teller unit. All of the projects that were
      made had a story behind them. All students talked to the "elders". I'll have
      to put some of the more recent ones on the site now (I did find the disk
      accidentally - I thought I grabbed a blank one and lo and behold - it had
      the Story teller works. Amanda - if you are reading - you will like them.
      None of the finished works were "in the style of" - each one was unique).

      Here are a few links to explore.

      Mayan Story Teller - Folk Tales:

      One Pueblo link:
      Pueblo Storytellers (originally made at Cochiti Pueblo near Albuquerque) are
      figurines made of pottery and are the grandparents passing love and history
      by the time honored verbal tradition. The children are literally "hanging"
      on to every word. (Dawn, you have the two links I gave you already on the

      Nice contemporary connection - Native American Women Photographers as

      Some student work inspired by Pueblo Story Tellers:

      You will find a lot of links for Helen Cordero (1915-1994)
      (there is a book of her work)
      The originator of the contemporary "Storyteller" figures was Helen Cordero
      of Cochiti Pueblo. Helen was a beautiful woman who cherished the role of
      storytellers in preserving the history of the Pueblo Indians. While her
      peers among Cochiti women were making traditional gray clay bowls, Helen was
      sculpting figures of seated storytellers with little children perched on
      legs, arms, shoulders, and back--all listening to the tales of the
      grandfather or grandmother.

      Many Pueblo potters today produce Storytellers; but none match the quality,
      feeling, and naturalness of Helen Cordero's; one can almost hear the words
      coming out of the mouths of her Storytellers as the children hang on and
      listen attentively.

      Here is one of Helen's for $14,500.00:
      (show art has value)

      These fourth grade ones will make you smile:

      Lots of commercial sites for Pueblo images. Commercial sites don't interest
      me on this topic (those are easy to find)- If you find some sites featuring
      specific artists - please post to the list. Dawn - Incredible Art Deprtment
      wants your lesson plna - next summer is good. Send a few images. Kids do
      like doing the animals too. Most of mine were animals the last time around.
      Many took on an endangerd animals kind of theme. One was a tribute to 9-11.
      He did a dog New York police man. Dawn - I am saving this to add to the

      Judy Decker - Ohio
      Incredible Art Department
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