Lena Boone is one of the standard-bearers maintaining the old-style carving for fetishes. This is a lovely example, with its minimally detailed, yet recognizable features.
Red-brown Zuni stone, also called Nutria Stone, is a dense travertine found on Zuni land. Here, it serves for carving a badger, traditionally reddish in hue.
The badger is the Guardian and protective animal of the South. Each direction, including the sky and under the earth, has a stipulated guardian and protective animal, according to Zuni lore.
Badgers, which root in the ground, are linked to helping medicine men find the roots and herbs needed for their healing work.
The bundle on this badger’s back is an offering to the animal’s spirit, to invoke its protection and help in finding the healing plants.
With its squat proportions and low height, the badger is somewhat realistic. It is also recognizable by its pointy nose, raised ears, and bushy tail.
Blue turquoise eyes spark the brownish stone, while the shell and stones in the bundle add more color.
A celebrated carver; a traditional animal with healing attributes. A fine fetish.