Ortiz, Inez – Mermaid Clay Figure (1990s)
Inez Ortiz was the sister of Virgil Ortiz and the mother of Lisa Holt. She was well known for her whimsical figures and her animal storytellers. This is one of her mermaid storytellers. The story of the mermaids at Cochiti originated after the building of Cochiti lake in the 1960s-73. Louis Naranjo was the first one to make them, saying he had seen the mermaids in the new Cochiti lake. The piece is patined with bee-weed and red clay slips. It is signed on the bottom, “Juanita Ortiz”. It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.