Smiling Green Frog Fetish

Rochelle Quam


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A folk song goes, “There’s a little green frog, sittin’ in the water”… This green frog is worth singing about, with his friendly smile and big blue eyes.

He just begs to be patted!

Frogs are important good luck fetishes for the Zuni, symbolizing fertility, as well as evoking the water where they live.

The artist, a granddaughter of the famous Zuni jeweler, Alice Quam, learned to carve fetishes from her former husband, Esteban Najera, well-known for his antler carvings.

Emerging from one solid piece of natural serpentine, this appealing frog sits on a lily pad, or at least a big leaf, likely in the water.

While not entirely naturalistic, there is a very appealing folk art-like feel to this winsome carving.

It almost resembles archaic Chinese sculptures, where the essence of the animal is depicted, with just enough detail, expertly rendered.

Large enough to be a feature on your table, desk, shelf, or mantel, this happy frog, carved by a prominent Zuni artist, will bring you pleasure every time you look at it.

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