Black Horn Corn Maiden

Keli'i Eli


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This admirable, Hawaiian/Zuni artist can always be counted on to create something different, and wonderful.

He is now out of the military, back at Zuni, and hard at work creating marvelous, prize-winning fetishes, which are also handsome table sculptures

This dazzling Corn Maiden demonstrates why he is already a multiple award-winner.

A superlative fetish/sculpture, it is carved from one solid piece of natural bull’s horn, embellished with a parade of small gemstones.

Corn Maidens represent the corn plant – the symbol of plenty, good health and happiness, for Pueblo people.

Using the natural curve of the horn, the artist has created a beautifully graceful Corn Maiden, partially wrapped in tapered corn husk leaves.

Her lower body and the husks are polished to a gorgeous luster, as is her serene face and the graduated, incised corn kernels in her body.

Her hair, flowing down her back from the bangs on her forehead, in a curve that follows the form of the horn, is beautifully etched.

At the base, in the back, is irregularly shaped forms that suggest the mesa lands from which corn grows.

Six tiny inlaid stones line the corn kernel body. along with two, fully cut-out dragonflies.

Each inlay represents the directional colors: North – Yellow (Tigereye), East – White (Mother of Pearl), West – Blue (Lapis), South – Red (Mediterranean Coral), Upper – Multi Color (Mojave Green Turquoise), and Lower – Black (Onyx).

The dragonflies are Spirit messengers, carved over Dowa:Yalanne to the back of her to help communicate between life on Mother Earth and the spirit world.

From every angle, this is a lovely, gracefully curved figure that is a masterful blend of compelling tranquillity and just enough texture and detail.

Every home could use a beautiful Corn Maiden to confer prosperity, good health, and happiness – especially one as unique and handsome as this.

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