Mangas is Navajo, but he learned this unique style of mixing and applying metals from his stepfather, the late, lamented Michael Little Elk, who was Lakota.
The brilliantly polished silver and 14-karat gold elements stand out against the sandy texture of the blackened and reticulated silver background.
Following the curved form of the fish (salmon? dolphin?), each of the sinuous, applied and overlaid elements add to the overall design.
Precisely cut out, the gold designs on the fish’s back and tail resemble waving fronds of seaweed.
Like the silver, each element is clean and beautifully delineated. Notice how the teeth, and the eye, are detailed.
Finished with both a pin and a shepherd’s hook, this piece is vibrant, animated and graceful, as well as wonderfully versatile.
Pin it, or hang it; it will make a great impression, with its interesting design, graphic contrasts, and fine workmanship.