Koshare Prepping for the Dance

Joe Cajero Jr.



Easily recognized by their black and white painted stripes, the Koshares dance and perform various ceremonial duties during feast days.

They are also entertainers, as well as social controllers.

The human men who impersonate these sacred clowns have to cover their faces and bodies with stripes of natural pigments.

This wonderful clay sculpture shows a Koshare finishing up his preparation for the ceremonial dance. A little blue jay perches on his shoulder, equally engrossed in the mirror.

The artist has received many prizes and awards for his work, including being officially named a ” Local Treasure” by a major museum of New Mexico!

He is nationally known for his virtuoso, naturalistic, sculpting (down to the ears!).

Look at the moccasins, the clay seems to have been transformed into supple leather.

Notice the expressive face, wrinkles and all, and the finely proportioned hands and fingers.

His well-nourished belly sits comfortably on his black cloth kilt, and his legs are comfortably splayed.

Every detail is meticulous – including those ears. Real, dried corn husks erupt from the headdress.

The entire figure is made traditionally, from gathering the clay, to firing, to painting.

The figure, the bird, the little pots, and the mirror are hand formed and painted of hand made clay, clay slips and vegetal paint.

The only exceptions: the cloth strips on his wrists, the beaded necklace, and the glass in the mirror,

We are especially pleased to have some of Joe Cajero’s original clay works, as he is increasingly involved in producing bronze editions of his pieces.

This is a fine opportunity to acquire one of this young superstar’s original works, which are becoming increasingly rare.

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