Southwest Traditions:
Consummate Stone Carvers

Zuni stone-cutting expertise reaches beyond forming exquisitely shaped cabochons and inlay. Zuni artists are renowned for their three-dimensional stone carving, fashioning a wide range of animals and other beings as stand-alone sculptures or to be incorporated into larger creations, like fetish necklaces or silver boxes.

Sky and water allusions are richly represented by frogs, birds, and snakes, which can symbolize lightning and rain. Water or sky symbols sculpted out of turquoise increase the power of that symbol. Shell and coral also suggest water, based on their origin, and are frequently paired with turquoise.

Fetish necklace, 1984 (50430/12, Origin/Artist: Levina and Mary Tsikewa and Sam Delayo (Zuni))