Jemez Pueblo potter Carol Lucero Gachupin handcrafted this traditional storyteller figurine with four children. Each element was created by hand from natural clay she gathered on Jemez land, sculpted in the traditional coil and pinch method, then hand-painted with natural pigments, demonstrating the artist’s mastery of traditional pottery-making methods.
This storyteller figurine will bring the warmth of family, tradition, and genuine connection into your home in a way that only a Pueblo storyteller can.
Gachupin reflects on her inspiration to begin crafting these icons of culture and tradition:
“Back then storytellers were so popular, and I thought maybe I should make one, because growing up at a young age we were told stories. Our grandpa would tell us stories, and we would sit around the fireplace, or sometimes we would be eating and he would be telling us stories.”
See Artist tab for a look at the giant storyteller Gachupin was commissioned to create for the University of Missouri's Museum of Anthropology at Mizzou North.
- Storyteller handmade by Carol Gachupin (Jemez Pueblo)
- Natural clay with all-natural vegetal and mineral slip
- Crafted through traditional horizontal coil and pinch methods
- Storyteller measures 10 ½” H x 3 ½” x 6” L
- Comes with a signed Certificate of Authenticity
Handcrafted works of Native American art require special care. For more information about proper care and cleaning, please read our Care Guide.
Carol G. Lucero Gachupin (b. 1958) is a well-known Jemez Pueblo potter who learned the art from her mother, Margaret Lucero, and acclaimed pottery artist Marie Romero. Carol loved to draw as a kid, and attended drawing classes after school led by renowned artist Alfred “Al” Momaday, father of N. Scott Momaday, Ph.D., the first Native American to win a Pulitzer Prize for literature.
Carol uses traditional pottery methods passed down through generations, first making her own natural clay and pigments, then molding and painting her figures by hand, and finally firing outdoors.
Inspired by memories of her grandfather telling stories around the fire and dinner table, Carol specializes in storyteller figures, and is known for the incredible level of detail and sophisticated painting in her figurines.
"Spring Maiden" by Carol Lucero Gachupin commissioned for the University of Missouri's Museum of Anthropology at Mizzou North. Photo by Timothy Tai.
Jemez Pueblo potters are known for their artistry and innovation, with many artists producing premium handcrafted vessels in traditional and contemporary styles. Before the arrival of the Spanish, Jemez was known for its traditional black-on-white ware, but production of this type of pottery died out in the early 18th century. Most pottery used in Jemez Pueblo after that came from nearby Zia Pueblo.
There was a revival of Jemez pottery-making in the early 20th century inspired and influenced by Zia pottery designs, but it was not until the 1960s and 70s that a significant number of Jemez potters began producing high-quality work using ancient methods. These potters developed a distinctive style of black-on-red and black- or red-on-tan, while dramatically improving their technical mastery of the form.
Since the 1980s, the popularity of handcrafted Jemez pottery has soared. Today, many artists create pots in the signature Jemez red style, but there are potters working in a range of colors and forms. Jemez potters make storytellers, wedding vases, seed pots, sgraffito-etched vessels, and more, and are widely recognized for their craftsmanship, creativity, and experimentation in design and technique.
The most celebrated and recognized art form of the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico is pottery. Pueblo pottery is known around the world for its remarkable beauty and craftsmanship. It has been made in much the same way for over a thousand years, with every step of creation completed by hand.
Pueblo potters do not use a wheel, but construct pots using the traditional horizontal coil method, or freely forming the shape. After the pot is formed, the artist polishes the piece with a natural polishing stone, such as a river stone, then paints it with a vegetal, mineral, or commercial slip. Finally, the pot is fired in an outdoor fire or kiln using manure or wood as fuel.
Santa Clara, San Ildefonso, Jemez, and Acoma Pueblos have distinctive pottery styles that are especially prized by collectors, but accomplished potters are working in all Pueblos.
Today, Pueblo pottery is an exciting and dynamic form, with many artists pairing traditional techniques with innovative and stylized designs. Those potters who continue to create pots using traditional methods possess an extraordinary level of skill, and their pots are highly valuable works of fine art that will be enjoyed for generations to come.Read our Native American Pottery Collector's Guide.
At Shumakolowa Native Arts, we guarantee that your purchase is an original and authentic work handcrafted by Native American artists as defined by the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990. We ask our artists to complete an extensive certification process, providing a CIB (Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood) card and other documentation of their Native American heritage. Our team of experts carefully inspects every product to guarantee it is handcrafted using traditional, sustainable processes, and natural materials of only the highest quality. We record the place and date of each purchase, and pride ourselves in paying a fair price that allows artists to make a living practicing their craft.
Every work of handcrafted art comes with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by an artist or buyer. At a time when many commercially made products are being sold as handcrafted Native American art, our in-depth purchase process allows us to guarantee the authenticity of every unique piece of fine art we offer. For more than 35 years, we have made it a priority to visit artists in their studio or home to purchase their latest handcrafted pieces and learn about their work. We have developed lasting relationships with artists, as well as dealers and collectors, and we take pride in being a trusted destination for fine Native American art.