Origin: Teddy Weahkee, Zuni
Date: First half of the 20th C.
Media: Antler, turquoise, shell, hide, feathers (legal, not migratory), bear hair (?), and sinew
Dimensions: 4.5″ long
Description: This antler fetish is of a different world all together. It is covered with pinon pitch which has worn away in places. This finish is an old process for fetishes, and certainly gives this one the appearance of an earlier age. The form is elegant in its own way, bird like, bug like, mosquito like, it has a face and a segmented body. The elongated arrowhead shape on top mimics the body form and is a classic Teddy technique.
These figures were made for tourist trade, and are some of the earlier items made during that period that bridged the authentic objects used for tribal rituals and then those sold to tourists. While this is a tourist object, it is an early example of that transition period.
Provenance: This single fetish was acquired along with 14 others, all from the Tres Compadres Ranch of the McMahon family of Houston, TX. Patricia Bennett McMahon (1929-2017) and her sister had one of the early art galleries in Santa Fe, NM.