Roxanne Swentzell (Kah'p'oo Owinge (Santa Clara Pueblo), born 1962). <em>Making Babies for Indian Market</em>, 2004. Clay, pigment, 23 1/2 x 8 1/2 x 17 in. (59.7 x 21.6 x 43.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift in memory of Helen Thomas Kennedy, 2004.80. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2004.80_SL3.jpg)

Making Babies for Indian Market

Artist:Roxanne SwentzellSanta Clara

Medium: Clay, pigment

Geograhical Locations:


Dimensions: 23 1/2 x 8 1/2 x 17 in. (59.7 x 21.6 x 43.2 cm)



Accession Number: 2004.80

Image: 2004.80_SL3.jpg,

Catalogue Description:
The sculpture is a contemporary version of the traditional storyteller figure with an ironic twist. It makes a dual statement on the production of traditional-style pottery for the Santa Fe Indian Market, for sale as well as on the Pueblo potter's desire to create something lasting for generations to come. A Pueblo woman sits with her legs and arms outstretched in front of her. The figure's face resembles Roxanne Swentzell, the artist responsible for the sculpture. Her eyes look up towards the Santa Clara black pot balanced on her head. Two babies emerge from the pot. One is shown half way out, the other with its head poking up. A third baby stands on the woman's shoulder and is reaching towards one of the babies coming from the pot. A fourth baby sits on the Pueblo woman's lap with an expression of deep contentment. Making babies and making pots are equated, perhaps to protest how indigenous people themselves and their traditions are often considered as if commodities, to be purchased by non-Native people at commercial Indian Markets throughout the Southwest. The entire piece is a tour-de-force of workmanship, a hand formed sculpture that merges two worlds, the time-honored and the modern. The entire surface of the work is highly polished and is in excellent condition.

Brooklyn Museum