A revered name in Zuni inlaid jewelry, Don Dewa is famous for his twirling Sunfaces and other accents. This magnificent bolo includes one of these trademarks, but is also much, much more, featuring raised inlay of the highest quality materials, in a striking, diagonal design that refers to traditional symbols.
The feature symbol is a beautifully detailed eagle feather, in shimmering white mother of pearl, black jet, and delicately fabricated silver. Eagle feathers represent prayers, soaring up to the spirits in the sky. The bands of blue turquoise and deepest red coral, at either side of the feather, symbolize water, sky and earth.The vertical placement also suggests rainfall – a great blessing.
A recessed band of reticulated silver, on the right, adds sparkle and another texture that contrasts with the smoother, inlaid stones. Gleaming silver channels separate and enclose the inlaid coral, turquoise and jet. These are all materials that are traditional to Zuni inlay work, and the symbolism is, also. The energetic design, however, is the artist’s own imaginative creation.
One feature that is very traditional is the small Sunface, at the upper left. Rounded in depth, as well as form, it is a classic rendering of this important symbol. A circle of flat, polished silver frames the Sunface, like a light-filled halo.
This is the Don Dewa signature: twirl the Sunface, and it revolves to show a dramatic design of turquoise, jet and coral, arranged vertically! This element fits right in with the overall composition of the bolo, and transforms it into a more modern, dramatically vigorous design. (Think of the fun you’ll have, twirling your little Sunface, while waiting for someone.) It is surprising what a difference the two sides make, in the look of the bolo .
And there is yet more: The tips of this extraordinary bolo are just as special. Silver globes dangle at the ends of the handmade silver cones, and each one has an “equator” of inlaid turquoise, coral and an accent of jet. A complete composition from top to bottom.
The finest, richly colored stones in an emphatic, animated design that is both traditional and modern, linked to flawless, assured workmanship – with a unique twist. This is an exceptional bolo, worthy of museum collections – and yours.