The Native American history came down through the ages by way of the "storyteller," an elder who recited the tribe's history, it's achievements and defeats, the tales of the Gods and how the tribe came into being, the legends of the coyote and the bear, the rabbit and the wolf. Their history was verbal, not written, and all the tribe's mores and traditions survived from generation to generation through these people. The Native Americans on the Jemez Pueblo, north of Albuquerque, are known for their "storyteller" dolls, clay figures often covered with the little babies and children who gathered to listen to the tales. Signed with names like Toya, Fragua, Tafoya and Tsosie, the storyteller dolls are cleverly done and highly collectible (pls see the last pic.)
This old necklace is a collection of the storyteller's "babies." It was hand-made on the Jemez Pueblo, and consists of nine (9) babies and eighteen (18) beads strung with heishi beads and fastened with a sterling hook-and-eye clasp. The babies and beads are hand-made from clay and hand-painted, just as the large dolls are. Each baby measures 1 1/2" x 1/2" and the necklace is 26"L. There is some light wear to the paint on the feet of a couple of the figures, but no chips, cracks or any other damage to the necklace. A true collector's piece.
I have a very extensive collection of Native American jewelry from years of living in AZ and having many friends on the Rez. My children have no interest in it, so I am starting to sell it in the shop.