The Story Tellers are now everywhere, created in pottery by different tribes all over New Mexico. The idea of learning from our elders is a charming one and is appealing because we've lost the gist of cultural transmission through oral storytelling. Folk art is something that involves culture and community and Helen Cordero of Cochiti Pueblo in New Mexico was the first to do the pottery story tellers, commissioned by Alexander Girard to do so. His example is in the Girard Wing of the International Museum of Folk Art. The sample at right is another Helen Cordero Story Teller in the Price Museum on the campus of the University of Oklahoma.
Santa Fe's 5th International Folk Art Market on July 12 and 13, 2008 is growing to be really something incredible. Appreciation for folk art is increasing and this is one of many Santa Fe events you might want to come to. I'll be volunteering there.
The Story Tellers are a grandmother or grandfather (Helen Cordero depicted grandfathers) surrounded by grandchildren. The role of elders in transmitting cultural values, beliefs and traditions is a powerful one. Our elders should be vital in our families and our communities.