With distinguished antecedents – grandfather George CheeChee, aunt and uncle Ramie and Miguel Haloo, and older half-brother, Colvin Peina – Troy is a consistent award-winner, and considered a master carver.
He has won First Place ribbons many times, at Santa Fe Indian Market and other prestigious shows. In 2015, he won Best in Class for Sculpture at Santa Fe, considered for Best in Show.
His use of naturally shed elk antlers, to fashion his famous animal and human figures, is a tradition that goes back to pre-historic times, at Zuni.
This ravishing little mother and baby figure is a collector’s jewel, since it differs charmingly from his more numerous bears, frogs, mice, and Corn Maidens.
Created with all the expertise, experience, and artistry of this master of antler carving, the figures have been meticulously carved and polished, a sleek background for inlaid stones, and incised decorations.
Wonderful details are seen in their hair, blankets, folds in the moccasins, and, of course, the inlaid designs.
Part of the appeal of this delightful piece is the stance: feet apart, mother leans to her right, balancing the swaddled baby on her left.
The artist has used the natural form of the antler fragment as inspiration for the finished work: part of his gift is to look at a piece of raw antler and see a sculpture.
Mother wears a necklace of natural, red coral “beads”, while her fringed blanket has dark blue lapis stones all around the bottom edge, set within incised triangular lines.
The blanket is also decorated with delicately incised starbursts.
More coral decorates the bottom of her dress, which peeks out beneath the blanket, while a tiny turquoise fastens each of her moccasins.
Baby’s blanket is adorned with lapis, turquoise, red coral, and one, lone green malachite.
Everything about this exquisite carving is handmade with natural materials, and made with awesome skill and artistry.
Truly, a little gem worthy of the artist’s outstanding reputation – and your collection.
A wonderful gift for that special new mother, too.