Origin: Teddy Weahkee, Zuni
Date: First half of the 20th C.
Media: Turquoise, shell, hide, sinew
Dimensions: 2.75″ long, 2″ tall
Description: This fetish is striking both because of the beautiful turquoise used and as well the spiny oyster shell directional bolt on the top. The animal is believed to a badger. The waist is twined with sinew securing shell beads and tabs. The patina is wonderful, and shows signs of age and wear.
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.