Abalone Corn Maiden with Turquoise Offerings
Abalone Corn Maiden with Turquoise Offerings
Abalone Corn Maiden with Turquoise Offerings
Abalone Corn Maiden with Turquoise Offerings
Abalone Corn Maiden with Turquoise Offerings
Abalone Corn Maiden with Turquoise Offerings

Abalone Corn Maiden with Turquoise Offerings

zf000878

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She happily stands on crushed on turquoise over a dolomite base.  Carl Etsate carved her from a shimmering piece of abalone that is red and gray on the back.  Her eyes are inlaid jet and turquoise, and she has a red coral mouth.  Her tablita is beautifully carved, as is her body of corn kernels and geometric lines.  There are inlaid turquoise, jet, and catlinite in the kernels.  Her hair is etched all the way down her back.  

Size: 2.5" H x .75" L x .5" W

Female corn beings represent all that is good about being a woman: loving, generous, nurturing, strong, with great compassion.  In tribes that traditionally grow corn, most of the stories are the similar.  There are many Indigenous stories about how corn was brought to the people at a time when there was hunger, and how a sacred, sometimes other worldly, female being brought them corn.  In Zuni Pueblo, there are three ages of female corn beings: the maiden who wears her hair in the traditional buns on each side, the mother who has one or more babies, and the elder grandmother who wears her shawl over her head. There are dances to honor the female corn beings in many of the Pueblos.  And in other tribes, she is held in a place of great honor.

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.