Karen Zunie is a well-known fetish artist, whose specialty is a range of charming animals, carved with naturalistic detail.
Horned toads, actually lizards, are sacred to the Navajo, but also frequently seen all over the high desert. Because of this, many Zuni carvers have been known to carve horned toads over the years. Their common name refers directly to their flattened, rounded bodies, blunt snouts, and stubby tails.
These elusive little creatures are a lively challenge for carvers, with their scaly skin and dinosaur-like heads. This wonderfully detailed horned toad is realistic, down to every last scale on his tail.
This little horned toad can seem both fierce and ancient, or to some, even friendly and comforting.
In addition, he is supposed to offer the strongest protection against evil and bad luck. All that in one carving is artistry indeed!