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Seated Storyteller with Three Children


Seated storyteller figurine by Jemez potter Linda Lucero Fragua showcases a seated woman and three children. 6″ tall x 3 1/8″ wide x 5″ deep.

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Traditionally made by Jemez potter Linda Lucero Fragua, this gorgeous storyteller figurine showcases a seated woman and three children. The woman rests with her legs outstretched and crossed, two girls seated upon her lap and one slung over her shoulder. Each girl holds a book; one titled “The Pueblo Story,” another titled “The Story of Corn Maiden,” and the third is “P. For Pottery.” Each figure’s mouth is open and the woman’s face features rosy cheeks. The girls have painted adornments in their hair, including flowers and bows. The woman has a beautiful shawl draped over her head. The border is painted in traditional geometric designs in red, pink blue, brown, and black.

6″ tall x 3 1/8″ wide x 5″ deep.

Palms Trading Company

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Around 1933, the Del Frate brothers went into business together selling mugs of beer as well as spirits and wines on the corner of Rio Grande and Central Avenue in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The “Beer Garden,” as it was known, needed a name. After days of deliberation, one of the brothers noticed a cardboard cut-out of a group of palm trees, and “The Palms” was born.

Guido decided a weekend dance hall adjacent to the beer garden would be better used as a food market. He opened “The Palms Food Market,” which was one of Old Town Albuquerque’s original merchants. In 1967, Guido and his sons Angelo and Guido Jr. decided to move the market and liquor store to a larger building on 15th Street and Lomas, five blocks east of the original location. The new Palms Market was three times bigger than the prior location, but the quality of products was still as high as ever.

People came from all over Albuquerque and the surrounding area to buy homemade food items, including “regulars” from neighboring pueblos, including Acoma, Jemez, Santo Domingo, Santa Clara, San Ildefonso and others. As a result, the food market evolved into a trade center in the 1960s. Native Americans from the pueblos relied on Palms to cash checks and buy groceries. In some cases, they bartered handcrafted items for groceries. Over the years, the Del Frate’s accumulated an enormous amount of jewelry and arts.

By 1968, the market had so much jewelry that Angelo put out word in the community that there was a collection of Native American itens at Palms in the back office. The back office was about 8 x 10 feet. Yet, the trading company that exists today started in that tiny room. Word spread that they had everything from bread and milk to an impressive assortment of Native American collectibles.

Eventually Angelo and Guido sold the liquor license and began to buy inventory to fully stock a jewelry store. While the grocery store continued to operate as a service to Palms’ faithful customers, the jewelry business eventually dominated their time. Angelo branched out into other arts and crafts; primarily pottery and rugs. Palms soon acquired the largest combined jewelry and arts and crafts inventory in the world, with dealers from all over the world relying on Palms to supply their own stores based on the outstanding selection and reasonable prices. With the third generation taking the helm, the traditions that formed the foundations continue today.

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