Rain gods and their relatives developed out of an earlier tradition of larger hollow clay figurines, the earliest of which was collected at Tesuque Pueblo in 1879. They continue to be produced at Tesuque Pueblo to this day, constituting the longest continuous figurative art tradition in the Southwest. This book traces the evolution of the rain god from tourist art to Indian self-identity and self-expression. Importantly, it studies a popular form that has heretofore failed to earn the serious attention of scholars and collecting institutions and further the discourse on how art is defined and valued.
Duane Anderson is director of the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe and the author of several books.