Published on August 10, 2014 by Carol
Helen Tafoya-Henderson is a native from “Walatowa”. Helen learned the art of working with the clay from her mother Vangie Tafoya, also well-known amongst the potters. Helen was taught at an early age, helping her mom clean and mix the clay. Soon she started to form her own pots, with some help from her mother.
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Helen now is well-known for the Hummingirds that she puts on her pottery and completes her piece of pottery by putting a stone into the hummingbird’s eye. She uses either turquoise, mother of pearl, onyx or other stones. She is also a collector of hummingbirds herself and says the hummers have brought her luck. Helen’s great-grandmother was from San Ildefonso Pueblo and married into Jemez Pueblo.
Her work is featured in Gregory Schaaf’s Southern Pueblo Pottery, Berger and Schiffer’s Pueblo and Navajo Contemporary Pottery, plus in Native People’s Magazine and Indian Market Magazine. She has won numerous awards at the Santa Fe Indian Market, New Mexico State Fair and the Inter-tribal Indian Ceremonial.