NATIVE AMERICAN JEMEZ POTTERY STORYTELLER BY Chrislyn Fragua This wonderfully painted storyteller was handmade by Jemez Pueblo potter Chrislyn Fragua and depicts a woman with three children. Chrislyn uses both the coil method and pinch method to create her pottery piece and as in traditional storytellers, Chrislyn's storytellers have their mouths open. Storytellers represent the passing down of stories orally through Pueblo tradition. The work is generally characterized by the buff and red clays used, and the range of styles and subjects. Storyteller, figures, sgrafitto designs, wedding vases, and melon pots are a few of their favorites.
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. 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 1960's and 70's that a significant number of Jemez potters began producing high-quality work using traditional methods.