The carver is related to prominent Zuni carvers, including the Laates, Quams and Kammasees. Here, she has wonderfully conveyed the breathtakingly fragile beauty of the dragonfly, an important fetish and symbol for almost all Southwestern tribes.
Dragonflies hover near and above water, so they are powerful symbols of good luck in the desert. In addition, they emerge with the warmth of Spring, so symbolize new beginnings, as well.
As graceful, shimmering, and ethereal as a real dragonfly, flitting over a creek or pond, this lovely carving is fashioned from natural yellow mother of pearl.
Using this sun-kissed hue of glimmering mother of pearl, the artist has suggested the iridescent fragility of the real dragonfly.
Turquoise eyes and inlays in the wings evoke water and sky, complementing the sun reference of the yellow shell.
Notice how intricately and beautifully the body is carved, like tapered tiers of ruffles.
This is a lovely piece, full of exquisite grace and important symbolism.