Jonathan Natewa carved this shiny black marble turtle from marble and etched a lovely flower with geometric details on the shell. It has inlaid turquoise eyes and eight inlaid dots on the shell. Signed "J.N." and "Zuni" on the back.
Size: .375" H x 2" L x 1.125" W
Turtles have their own homes on their backs which means that wherever they are, they are home. They are associated with safety. When attacked they retreat into their shells, although some turtles have strong enough mouths to snap a finger. For most Native American nations in North America, turtles represent Mother Earth. Every turtle shell has 13 sections on top which some Native Americans say represent the 13 moons of each year.
Traditionally, Zuni carvings are symbolically fed cornmeal. Each Zuni fetish comes in a box with a descriptive card and a tiny bit of corn meal to tide them over until they reach you.