Cochiti Pueblo is known as the birthplace of the storyteller figure, and among the fine potters who specialized in this charming style was Felicita Eustace.
Her figures were characterized by their sweetly smiling faces, very like Felicita’s own. Sadly, after a long and productive life, she is no longer with us.
However, Denise Eustace, one of her grandchildren, has continued that appealing style.
This winsome lady is literally covered in smiling children – 12 in all!
She is decked out in a traditional manta dress, with a squash blossom necklace, earrings, bracelet, and sash, painted in clay slip and plant -derived paint.
Three boys are gleefully clambering over her head, while a girl and two other little boys snuggle on and against her arms.
Five more girls are arrayed on her lap, and one very relaxed little boy reclines on the white bands of her dress-up moccasins.
Each child is smiling, just like the storyteller herself, and each one wears distinctive clothing.
Even from the back, this is a delightful piece: you see the boys on her head in their various poses, and her lovely thick braid cascading down her back.
With her captivating smile, and the animated group of happy children, this is a wonderfully charming piece, that continues a winning family tradition.