An acknowledged master of overlay and applique techniques, Joe has created this remarkable buckle that portrays the Native vision of prosperity and blessings.
The theme and its symbols are favorites of this kindly, spiritual man, but this buckle is especially astounding in its complexity, precision, and inclusiveness.
An emphatic line of zig-zags separates the heavens from the world below. Up above, a series of rainclouds and rain provide the source of life.
Water is needed for all life, animal and vegetal, to flourish, as shown below.
Depicted in the main body of the buckle, are a tiered Pueblo dwelling with many stars and a tiny gold moon, above, a human figure with a hoe (?), and all creatures great and small, along with a cornstalk and a basket of harvested corn ears.
The figure may also be a representation of the Seed-Blower, the spirit who sows the seeds that result in all life.
Corn is the staff of life and a sign of abundant harvests.
Fish, a turtle, a mountain ram, elk or deer, bird, and a bear, swim, waddle, and pose, across the darkened matte background.
Except for the bear and the turtle, they are all edible prey animals.
The turtle represents flowing water and rain; the bear is a symbol of hunting prowess and protection.
These are all symbols of blessings that lead to abundance, good health, and happiness, and prosperity.
Each element of the design is scrupulously precise and detailed, from the kernels in the corn ears, to the turtle’s shell, and the ram’s horn.
Tiny 24-karat gold dots are sprinkled around the buckle, with a larger one, referring to the sun, above the human figure’s head.
Dots symbolize raindrops, so there is very good luck all over this handsome, appealing buckle.
A plain silver frame surrounds all this detail, and the edges of the buckle are chiseled in straight, parallel lines, like rainfall.
Every bit is made by hand, including the working parts in the back.
Enjoy wearing this extraordinary piece of jewelry, and place it in a stand on a tabletop or shelf, when not worn. It is really a work of art.