180412-08 Cochiti Pueblo Figure
Cochiti Pueblo Seated Figure: 8 3/4"
Cochiti Pueblo potters are responsible for providing hundreds of pottery figurines as early as 1880 to satisfy a demand for “Indian curios,” a term coined by merchants in Santa Fe for “curiosities.” It is not likely that the Cochiti potters dreamed up the scheme on their own but most likely that the merchants needed something unique, mysterious, ceremonial or perhaps just mockingly funny to sell to the influx of tourists arriving on the AT&SF rail line that made its way to New Mexico in 1880. Even Tesuque Pueblo potters were encouraged to make Rain God figurines, something that did not even exist in their culture but was probably from the fertile mind of Jake Gold, a Santa Fe merchant, and probably based on pre-Columbian figures from Mexico.
These merchants, and there were several of them, are highly responsible for bringing interest to early pueblo pottery—from the finest traditional ceramics to the more obscure figurative style.