• Sofia Payne, "She brought us fire", earthenware, wood, mixed media, 12” x 8” x 14”
  • Sofia Payne, "Envy (deer II)", earthenware, mixed media, 22” x 18” x 24”
  • Sofia Payne, "Envy (deer II detail)", earthenware, mixed media, 22” x 18” x 24”
  • Sofia Payne, "Envy (rabbit)", earthenware, mixed media, 18” x 6” x 6.5”
  • Sofia Payne, "The Courageous Mosni", earthenware, mixed media, 21” x 14” x 19”

Narratives have always been a passion of mine. As a child, I never questioned why most of the stories I heard and read originated from Europe. It wasn’t a pervasive concern at all, until I started learning about the art and history of Latin American cultures that predated Columbus’ arrival. As a Mexican American, I wanted to see what similarities possibly existed in the mythologies from western and non-western cultures. What began as a casual interest in educating myself on my Mexican heritage has culminated into a personal mission to dive deeply into the indigenous cultures that thrived long before colonialism occurred and share their fascinating tales.

In retrospect, it is not altogether surprising, but still disappointing, at how little I learned of Mexico in the Texas public school system. Morsels of anecdotal knowledge of Mexican culture were quickly debunked when investigated, and easy to find Mexican myths and legends traced their roots back to colonial influence. It became imperative for me to reach further back into history to find the original voices of indigenous cultures, hidden amongst hard to find books. My focus of comparing indigenous  mythologies to western ones transitioned to specifically celebrating these lesser known tales.

The mythologies presented are from the Seri, the Cora and the Mazatec civilizations, sharing the common thread of illustrating the creation of our world. Through the use of expressive ceramic sculptures these indigenous narratives are retold to delight, inspire, and reinforce their significance in humanity’s history.