As delicate, shimmering, and ethereal as a real dragonfly, flitting over a creek or pond, this enchanting carving is fashioned from sunset pink, natural mother of pearl.
The carver is related to many prominent carvers and families in Zuni, including the Laates, Quams and Kammasees. She has wonderfully conveyed the breathtaking, fragile beauty of the dragonfly, an important fetish and symbol for almost all Southwestern tribes.
Dragonflies hover near and above water, so they are powerful symbols of good luck in the desert, especially for dry farmers (dependent on rainfall) like the Zuni.
Using the delicate hue of shimmering mother of pearl, the artist has suggested the iridescent fragility of the real dragonfly. She has suggested those changeable colors by inlaying dark blue lapis in the pink wings, and as the eyes. These blue stones also evoke water and sky.
Notice how intricately and beautifully the body is carved, like tapered tiers of ruffles. This is a glorious little piece.