Teissedre 1987 Native American Black Mudhead Storyteller
- Vintage item
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The mudhead, also called a Koyemsi, is a clown that performs in most Hopi ceremonies, so-called because they wear masks covered with mud. This mudhead is a storyteller figure created by artist Cleo Teissedre, who began making her original Native American and Southwest designs in 1979 in her garage in Tucson, Arizona.Her storytellers became widely known, each one handmade and unique.
Storyteller figures were first made in 1964 by Helen Cordero, a member of the Cochiti people of New Mexico. They represent Native American parents and grandparents telling stories to children of the tribe to preserve their history and traditions. Teissedre mudhead storytellers are more plentiful in the adobe color, far scarcer in black. This is an early one, hand signed in white on the bottom of the two back feet: Teissedre © 87. The adult mudhead, down on all fours, is giving the child mudhead a ride on his back.
This figure measures 2 1/4 inches long, 2 3/4 inches tall and 1 3/8 inches wide across the front feet. It's in exceptionally fine condition; there is one small potting flaw on the edge of its right rear foot, covered with paint at the time it was created, but no wear, no chips, no fading of color. Teissedre storytellers are prized, especially her early ones, since they are no longer made. It's a great addition to a collection---or the start of one.