Famous for his realistic carvings, Lance Cheama’s work is found in myriad collections, as well as museum collections. This detailed horned toad is typical of his skill and artistic vision.
Horned toads are sacred to the Navajo, but also frequently seen all over the high desert. Sometimes, Zuni carvers will make horned toads for Navajo customers; sometimes for themselves.
These elusive little creatures are a lively challenge for carvers, with their scaly skins and dinosaur-like heads. This wonderfully detailed horned toad is realistic from the spiky horns on his head, to every last scale on his tail.
The interesting markings of the stone add to the appeal of this little reptile. Inlaid turquoise eyes are decorative, rather than natural, but the accurately portrayed mouth is realistic.
This little horned toad can seem both fierce and ancient, or friendly and almost cuddly.
In addition, he is supposed to offer the strongest protection against evil and bad luck. All that in one carving is artistry indeed!