Bountiful Bear
Bountiful Bear

Bountiful Bear

zf001020

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This bear was artfully carved from melon shell with blue turquoise eyes.  The bundle on the smooth side has a blue turquoise arrowhead, heishi and shells strung on braided red and green yarn.  The bundle on the rough side has a green turquoise arrowhead, shells, heishi, an azurite and malachite bead, and red coral strung on braided green and red yarn.  It is easy to imagine it as an ornament on a Christmas tree, and hung on a wall the rest of the year.  It was well loved for many years in the collection of the owner of Gathering Tribes, Pennie.  More about bears below.

Size: 3.75" H (does not include the 7" braided yarn) x .125" W x 4.75" L

Bears are the guardians of the western gate in Zuni Pueblo.  They are associated with healing at all levels, protection, and a reminder to restore oneself during the winter months.  In some traditions a part of the bear is rubbed all over infants to imbue them with power, strength, and good health.

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.