This small storyteller is dressed in traditional clothing with a necklace and bracelets. She sits alone, mouth open and eyes closed, perhaps waiting for children so the story may begin. I believe this storyteller is one of Rita’s first attempts; it is not as refined as her later pieces and has a rougher finish to it. Rita Lewis always made her storytellers in true traditional fashion, using Cochiti clay, slip, and vegetal paints and firing the pieces outdoors.
In the first decade following the creation of the storyteller figurine by Helen Cordero in 1964, only a very few potters at Cochiti produced the figurines. Rita Lewis was one of those potters, and her storytellers are highly prized by collectors.
Rita Lewis, the daughter of famous potter Ascencion Banada, married Ivan Lewis, son of famous potter Lucy Lewis. They began making bowls and animal figurines around 1971, and storyteller figurines around 1973. Rita continued making storyteller figurines until she passed away in 1991.
Condition: Excellent- original condition
Provenance: Maintained in the same private family gallery since originally purchased from Rita and Ivan Lewis, who were close personal friends.