With a very long list of awards, going back to 1981, Andy Abeita is renowned for his fine carvings.
He often collaborates with his wife, Roberta, who adds the finishing touches, for example, the etched designs.
Sculpture, or table fetish, this carving magnificently conveys the bulk and strength of the iconic animal.
Despite the simplification of forms, it is immediately recognizable. Somehow, the artist has made this animal both ponderous and graceful.
The mighty presence of the buffalo is suggested in the lowered head and massive body, but at the same time, the rounded lines are quite lovely.
His head is slightly turned, with muzzle and rump polished, to stand out against the matte “fur”.
Polished brass horns gleam, set into the natural, darkly and beautifully figured alabaster. The natural variations in the stone suggest the shaggy coat of the beast.
Instead of the usual heart line, there are two polished and etched bands: one, on top of the beast, points toward his head. This may stand-in for the heart line, which indicates the source of the animal’s power.
Winding around the animal, from one side, down to his front legs and around to the other side, is another decoratively etched, angular, band.
A handsome sculpture that is also an homage to the animal that provided meat, shelter, clothing, and more, to generations of Natives.