This big turtle and little turtle was carved by Jesus Espino from Zuni Pueblo. The big turtle is carved from serpentine and has inlaid jet eyes, and five jet dots around the rim of the shell. The little turtle is made from catlinite and has inlaid turquoise eyes and three inlaid dots around the rim of the shell. The mouth and the toes are all detailed. "J.E." is inscribed on the bottom.
Size: 1.125" H x 3.75" L x 2.5" 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.