For generations, the Zuni people have been known for producing priceless artwork and jewelry steeped in tradition. Their stone-cutting techniques, including needlepoint, petit point, and inlay, have been passed down each generation for hundreds of years. Today, Zuni silver and stone jewelry is some of the most highly sought art and each piece is unique.
In the late 1800s, a traveling Navajo man was the first to teach silversmithing to a Zuni tribesman. In the beginning, these silversmithing methods remained practical, with a focus on creating tools and other functional pieces. However, this soon paved the way for creativity and in no time the Zuni peoples were making jewelry that incorporated their skill for stone-carving in addition to silversmithing.
Zuni Fetish Carving
Another popular type of arts and crafts performed by the Zuni people is their stone fetish carving, a holdover from ancient days. Historically, they’re known for carving unique, detailed figures, most of which depict animals, out of materials like coral, shells, and turquoise. These small carvings often depict cultural icons or animals that were used in ceremonies.
Today’s Current Zuni Artisans
Nowadays, Zuni jewelry and stone working have a solidified place in Southwestern contemporary art, history, and design. For example, the Zuni stone fetishes from Palms Trading Company are extremely popular and unique. Each one represents different animals or objects and is often carefully crafted from natural stone to provide unique colors and designs. All pieces are purchased directly from popular Zuni artisans like Kenric Laiwakete, Freddie Leekya, Enrike Leekya, Emery Boone, and more.
Contact us today for more about Zuni jewelry
If you want to see some of today’s most highly-sought Zuni jewelry firsthand, contact us online or call 1 (800) 748-1656 to learn more about our inventory. In addition to our Zuni pieces, we also carry handcrafted jewelry and other items from Native American tribes throughout the Southwest.