Tall, slender and graceful, this carving closely follows the original form of the antler – which is naturally shed.
The figure is a warrior, complete with decorated shield and silver lance.
This is a rather uncommon subject for a Zuni antler carving, but one created with imagination, refinement, and skill.
Following the naturally curved form of the antler, the warrior seems to be bowing, perhaps in prayer for a successful hunt or fight.
Eagle feather and shield are carved from the one piece of antler; the only additions are the inlaid stones and the silver lance.
The figure wears a long robe or blanket that is studded with tiny turquoise stones., and incised geometric patterns.
His beautifully carved long hair curves gracefully down the back; the feather is anchored by two dots of natural red coral and turquoise.
Similarly, the shield is inlaid with a traditional Sunface of mother of pearl, coral turquoise, and jet.
The four corners of the earth are marked by alternating coral and turquoise dots, and inlaid jet lines, indicating that the power of nature in balance, and the protection of the shield, should extend everywhere.
Red coral represents the earth; blue turquoise, the sky.
In a happily innovative touch, a twisted silver lance ends in a pointed blade.
In another departure from the usual, the figure rests on a softly beveled and polished base of darkest green serpentine.
Handsome from every angle, this figural fetish is really an unusual, graceful, small sculpture.
It has been created with wonderful skill, resulting in elegant beauty.