Zuni Travertine Bear and Dragonfly
Zuni Travertine Bear and Dragonfly
Zuni Travertine Bear and Dragonfly
Zuni Travertine Bear and Dragonfly
Zuni Travertine Bear and Dragonfly

Zuni Travertine Bear and Dragonfly

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Cheryl Beyuka carved this bear from Zuni rock (travertine) and inlaid jet eyes.  She carved a graceful dragonfly bundle for its back from pink mussel shell with turquoise and apple coral wings, with three turquoise beads on top.

Size: 1.5" H x 1.75" L x .75" W

The bear is guardian of the west, which is where spirits go when people pass away.  Bears are powerful hunters and the ones with arrowheads on their backs are associated with success in hunting and fishing. They are also associated with power, strength, protection and healing.  Some say that humans learned which plants to eat when sick by watching what the bears ate when they were sick.

Dragonflies have different, yet similar meanings throughout Native America.  In Zuni, they are messengers between this world and the next and are related to the coming rains and corn.  In other tribes they are strong protectors, as dragonflies are one of the very few creatures that can fight while flying backwards.  They are known to watch our backs and offer protection.  Their symbol is a vertical line with two horizontal bars, and can be seen on war shirts, shields and painted on horses going into battle.

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.