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Lena Boone

Lena Boone is one of the most respected and well-known of the current, traditional fetish carvers in Zuni. She is the daughter of the late Edna Leki, who is believed to have been Zuni’s first female fetish carver. Lena is a major force in the movement to continue traditional carving. She carves in all sorts of stones and materials, but in a very traditional style. She, and family members Evalina Boone and Marcel Chase Weahkee are thought to be the only fetish carvers with the tools to carve glass, a lovely “new” material. She also makes beautiful fetish necklaces, as well as larger table fetishes.
Notes about carving glass fetishes: Glass is hard, requiring more aggressive cutting tools and it is also dangerous. Excessive heat is generated during the slabbing process and can cause glass to shatter or explode. As a result, Lena and her family members cut the glass under water, to cool it. Tiny glass particles and glass dust can also cause major eye and lung damage ? time for goggles and masks. Sanding glass is another challenge: sanding a single piece uses at least 6 separate grits of sand paper to create the final luster and finish.