A gifted carver, Andy Abeita, is part Zuni and part Isleta Pueblo.
As the first Native president of the Indian Arts and Crafts Association (IACA) Andy was a tireless advocate for handmade Native American crafts, and lectures extensively on the topic. He is also active in Native American religious beliefs and ceremonies.
This wonderful, alabaster eagle combines the tradition of found rocks, that resemble an important ceremonial animal, with the more modern style of naturalistic detail.
Eagles are considered the Guardian of the Sky, and fly so high they are thought to carry prayers and hopes right up to the heavens.
Of particular note is this eagle’s turned head: it is raised, and turned to the side, giving the carving a dynamic pose.
The white head of the American bald eagle is portrayed by etching the alabaster, and not polishing it. The bird’s beady eyes are inlaid jet.
The medicine bundle, containing the prayers, includes turquoise, a red bead, dark red garnet, white mother of pearl bead, amber, and tiny baby olive shell heishi, along with natural parrot feathers.
They are all attached to a cord of sinew. The artist’s wife, Roberta, usually creates the medicine bundles on his carvings.
Animated, colorful, and expertly carved, this eagle is a real beauty, and a real buy.