Tony is a Hopi who married into Cochiti Pueblo, where he learned to make storytellers from his mother-in-law, Lucy Suina.
Ms Suina was related to Helen Cordero, one of the first, modern-day re-creators of the storyteller genre.
Given his Hopi identity, his well-known specialty is the Mudhead, one of the most identifiable and beloved of Pueblo clowns.
Mudheads escort the Shalako, the Chief Kachina, during the Winter Solstice ceremony, and also run races.
Since this takes place in early December, the ground is usually muddy, hence their appearance – covered in red clay mud – and name.
His work is known for precise details, impeccable finish, and a touch of humor.
This appealing duo of mother and daughter Mudheads is made from local, hand-gathered and mixed clay.
It was traditionally formed, smoothed, painted, and fired, by hand. The clear colors are commercial, acrylic paints – a contemporary touch.
The smooth finish and rounded forms are typical of Tony Dallas’ work.
The adorable little-girl Mudhead is dressed to match her mother, in the traditional, one-shoulder manta dress.
She holds a tiny rattle, while her mother holds a similar, decorated “gourd” rattle, as is traditional.
Meticulously painted are their embroidered sashes and hems, turquoise and coral pins, holding the dresses together at the side, and ceremonial white moccasins.
Painted wrist-bands complete their outfits.
Gloppy red mud lumps on the head, and flowing down along the face, are the identifying feature of this popular Kachina.
Everything has been flawlessly formed and/or painted.
This delightful duo will sing its way into your heart and home.
A lovely gift for a mother and daughter, or grandmother and granddaughter, by a recognized artist.
Together with the same artist’s male duo – also on this website – this would be a precious set.