Lena Boone is noted for promoting the continuance of the traditional style of fetish carving – abstract, yet recognizable.
Faithful to this style, after leaping into contemporary times with the use of exotic art glass, she here has returned to more traditional stone.
Wolves are considered Guardians of the East in Zuni lore. They also represent loyalty, intelligence, and family values. For this reason, they are often carved in linked pairs, as here.
Each animal is carved separately, then bound together. Stone is traditional for fetishes, but this exotic, banded onyx is not, since it is not found anywhere near the Zuni lands.
The animated bands of pale and neutral earth colors are accented with one of bright green, and others of a warm gold. Together, this earthy palette does suggest the tree-bark coloring of real wolves. Each wolf has bright blue turquoise eyes.
A large, carved arrowhead of abalone shell is surmounted with bits of natural red coral and turquoise – a traditional medicine bundle, attached to the pair with sinew that is now artificial.
This is a perfect pair, traditionally carved in a non-traditional, but vibrant stone.
The protection and values the wolf represents are laudable, traditional, and beautifully expressed here.