This vividly painted storyteller was handmade by Jemez Pueblo potter Chrislyn Fragua and depicts a woman holding nine children. The storyteller is dressed in a blouse and skirt, brilliantly painted with intricate geometric designs in gray, orange, red and buff that represent traditional Pueblo patterns. Storytellers celebrate the Pueblo tradition of passing down stories orally and usually shows an elder surrounded by children. As in traditional storytellers, Fragua’s figures are shown with open mouths. Fragua constructed the main body using the traditional coil method, then used the pinch method to create additional elements. Her figures are known for their attention to detail and expressive painted designs. No Pueblo pottery collection is complete without a hand-sculpted storyteller like Fragua’s.
- Figurine handmade by Chrislyn Fragua (Jemez Pueblo)
- Natural clay with all-natural vegetal and mineral slip
- Crafted through traditional horizontal coil and pinch methods
- Figurine measures 6-3/4" long x 4-3/4" wide x 9" High
- 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.
Chrislyn Fragua (b. 1973) is an award-winning potter from Jemez Pueblo known for her exquisite handcrafted Storyteller figures. She comes from a family of renowned Pueblo potters and learned the art from her mother Linda Lucero Fragua. All of her pieces are made by hand using natural clay and pigments.
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, 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 completed by hand using all-natural materials. 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 or mineral 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 and the Hopi have distinctive pottery styles that are prized by collectors, but there are accomplished potters 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.
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.