Pueblo: Zia Pueblo

Helen most likely grew up watching her famous grandmother, Rosalie Medina Toribio, making pottery, but she really learned the basics of the traditional art from her mother. Through her life Helen made traditional polychrome jars, storage ollas and bowls. She was known for her traditional pottery and use of traditional designs. Her favorite designs seem to have been roadrunners, yucca plants, rainbows and birds.

Helen and her sister, Gloria Gachupin Chinana, were among the participants in the 1979 “One Space/Three Dimensions” exhibit at the Albuquerque Museum. Although not a prolific potter, her pieces can be found in the collections at the Peabody Museum at Harvard University in Boston, the Maxwell Museum in Albuquerque and the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture in Santa Fe, and the Heard Museum in Phoenix.

Helen never married before she passed away, and had no children to carry on her pottery making tradition.