Zuni culture ascribes a specific guardian animal to each of the four geographic directions, plus the sky and the underground. A set of all six fetishes will offer you delight, as well as protection from all sides.
Complete sets are not very common, since each animal has to be carved separately, and given the proper attributes. Ray is well-known for his artistry, as well as his skill.
Following tradition, this multiple award-winning artist has hand-carved each animal individually, in an abstract, rather than realistically detailed fashion, as in the old days. The medium for all is naturally shed, elk antler.
Guardian of the North is the mountain lion, recognized by his tawny color and the tail folded forward, across the back; Guardian of the East is the fluffy-tailed white wolf.
The badger protects the South, and the bear guards the West. The sky is guarded by the eagle, appropriately enough, while the mole protects the underground. The animals’ eyes are inlaid with jet or turquoise.
Each animal wears a medicine bundle, an offering to its powers. The various beads are in a color that corresponds to a particular direction: amber and warm opals for the mountain lion, an opal and pearls for the white wolf, red coral for the badger, and blue turquoise for the bear.
Eagle wears glittering crystals, as if reflecting the sun’s rays, and mole sports black onyx. All are attached to artificial sinew. Plumply charming, each animal is also authentic.
Hand carved and polished by a celebrated artist, this appealing antler set will excite conversations, and provide protection too.