Archive for the ‘Pueblo Storytellers’ Tag

A Cochiti Pueblo Story   1 comment

Storyteller Figurine by Mary & Leonard Trujillo Cochiti Pueblo — Image by kenne

Mary and Leonard Trujillo were among the premier figurine potters at Cochiti Pueblo. Very few potters attempt large figurines anymore,
but the Trujillos did, and they did a fine job at it. They had been a pottery-making team since the 1980s.

Mary Tapia (1937- ) was originally from Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo. She married Leonard Trujillo (1936-2017) of Cochiti Pueblo, moved there, and learned to make storyteller figurines from her mother-in-law, Helen Cordero. They taught their daughter Geraldine Trujillo, and it shows in her work. Mary and Leonard’s storytellers are represented in prestigious collections such as the Heard Museum and the School of American Research.Source:

“. . . one twin began to talk. Then the other. They talked quietly, then more quietly.
Everyone grew especially quiet and listened. They listen very carefully.
The twins talked abou† clouds they had seen. They talked about rainbows.
They spoke of thunder and lightning. They talked about the fresh smell of wet earth
and the green things that grow soon after the rain. And pretty soon, one twin blew 
in his hands, and a cloud arose and grew very large. Soon it was raining! Then it began to
thunder and to flash lightning. It rained hard, and everyone ran happily into their homes.
The twins were the first Kossa and became leaders of the village for many good years.”

— from Pueblo Stories and Storytellers by Mark Bahti

Pueblo Storytellers   1 comment

A Storyteller Figurine by Ethel Marie Shields – Acoma Pueblo Artist (Passed away on October 16, 2021 at age 95.)

“We would load all the pottery into a wagon and drive to the main road between Grants and Albuquerque
[Route 66]; that was before it was paved. We would sit there at a roadside stand and sell the pottery to
people driving by.”

— Ethel talking about selling pottery with her mother in the early 1940s

When Mud Woman Begins


down my arm
through this clay
forming into
spirit shapes

of men

and children
I have seen
somewhere before.


surging upward
as I mix
this mud
like my mother

as her mother did
with small
brown feet.

Folding into this earth

a decision of
joyful play,
transcending expectations
of fear

or perfection.

Creating spirits

calling invitations
of celebration.
What occurs
in completed form,

and bold,
is motion
from our mother’s skin.

I smile

momentarily satisfied
with my play.
generated from star colors
far from home,

through my feet
blessing my hands
and opening my heart.

— from From Mud Woman, Poems from the Clay by Nora Naranjo-Morse

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