Hopi artist, Ruben Saufkie Sr., has been a notable silversmith since 1988.
He has illustrious relatives, as well: the late, revered Lawrence Saufkie, his great-uncle, and the equally celebrated Paul Saufkie, Sr, his grandfather.
He says that through his pieces, (I am) “doing my best to share our Hopi teachings of finding balance, harmony and unity which leads to peace.”
This decorative two-part pendant is a wonderful example of that, visually, thematically, and in execution.
At the top, a textured, overlaid crescent moon is decorated with storm cloud, wind, and rain symbols.
Within its embrace, A large cut-out star and four cut-out circles stand out from the darkened base silver.
We, outside the high desert lands of the Hopi, Zuni and Navajo, don’t delight in storm clouds, wind and rain, but to these tribes, water is precious and sacred.
The little circles represent raindrops, and the four-pointed star symbolizes the extent of rain’s blessing, to the four corners of the earth.
Dangling below, a stylized wolf raises his head, to howl at the moon.
The wolf is recognized for its devotion to the pack, and its family; so much so, parallels have been drawn between pack members and tribal members.
This gracefully delineated wolf has detailed teeth, and a series of rain and storm symbols in his body.
At the very bottom, stepped rain signs coexist with tapered, abstract feather forms, representing prayers for the rain.
Enough water and enough sun, in balance, result in healthy crops. Happiness, good health, and prosperity follow an ample harvest.
This striking pendant is beautifully fabricated, as it invokes the blessings of rain, for the tribe and for everyone, everywhere.
The textured moon glistens like a rain-splattered surface; polished areas gleam, against the darkened background silver.
Curvaceous, with angular designs within the rounded forms, the shape is intriguing.
The bail matches the moon’s texture, and has the artist’s stamp on it, too.
A wonderful design, and excellent workmanship, join with the spiritual message the artist strives to convey.
Esthetically pleasing, and culturally important, this is a beautiful achievement, on many levels.