Native American Storyteller Figurines
At Kachina House we carry a large selection of Native American storyteller figurines, handmade by artists from various tribes. Crafted and accented with natural materials, we offer unique objects of art and craft.
These figures are one-of-a-kind handbuilt Native American sculptures called Pueblo storytellers. Extremely talented Native American artisans create each storyteller with attention to every detail. Our Native American handbuilt storytellers are sought by collectors all over the world.
The storyteller is an adaptation of centuries-old creations in figurine pottery. In tribes with no written language, cultural traditions and values historically have been passed down by tribal elders through songs and stories geared to teaching the young. This is not a gender-based job; in fact, it is a high honor to be a “storyteller” in the Pueblo. The storyteller is tasked with the responsibility of passing on personal, religious and cultural history to each child in the Pueblo, preserving history for future generations and ensuring continuity with the past. Storytellers are the guardians of the stories of their ancestors. These sculptures show the storyteller singing the stories and, in many cases, the little ones seem to be paying little attention. It is in these delightful representations that the intense love of the Native American Indians for their children is clearly shown.
From ancient times, clay figures were present in Pueblo pottery tradition. Figurines, especially human female figures, were an integral element in the Anasazi culture. Between 1500 and 1875 there is little evidence of figurative work because missionaries and then scholars discouraged and denounced the making of figurative clay pieces. However, since that time figurative sculpture has flourished, especially at Cochiti and Jemez Pueblos, both just south of Santa Fe, in the forms of animals, birds, clowns, caricatures of outsiders and, more recently, images of mothers, grandmothers and grandfathers telling stories and singing to children. With the coming of the railroad to New Mexico in the late 1800s, Native American artists delighted in mimicking their new visitors in storyteller sculptures, and their caricatures included supplicating padres, tourists, businessmen, cowboys and dancing bears.
Storytellers are one example of contemporary handbuilt Pueblo pottery. Creating them is an art and a spiritual undertaking in which the gathering of local clay and native plants and minerals used for painting are meaningful and sacred events. Built, smoothed and shaped by hand, polished with a stone, fired in an outdoor self-consuming kiln, and decorated with ancient designs are all pieces of the crafter’s journey. The storyteller tells the story.
Kachina House is the largest distributor of Native American arts and crafts in Arizona. At our showroom/warehouse in Sedona, AZ, you will find more products on display than we can post on our website. Our products are high-quality and handcrafted; we pride ourselves on offering unique products and the best customer service. If you have questions, we urge you to call us toll free at 800-304-3290 or drop us an email. We always like to hear from our customers.