Native American Story Tellers
- 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Pueblo Storytellers (originally made at Cochiti Pueblo near Albuquerque) are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
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