Of all the products that have been used by Zuni fetish carvers over the centuries, antler is the material most amenable to intricate carving and to representing a diverse range of subjects and movement. The most common source used in antler carvings is deer and elk, both of which are found as natural ‘sheds’ on the Zuni Reservation. However the majority of Zuni carvers purchase sheds from trading posts. A single half or full rack can yield only a small number of carvings at any one time, so they are purchased whenever there is an adequate supply. Antler shedding begins in the spring. Many industrious Zunis and others, including area ranchers, comb the forests and rolling hills to try to find antler.
Zuni Antler Carvings Gallery – A1
Some Zuni carving families specialize in antler. Look for carvings by Claudia Peina and her brother Troy Sice, Maxx Laate, Willard Laate, Estaban Najera, Ruben Najera, Louis Malie Jr. from the famous Laate carving family and Robert Michael Weahkee, son of famed carver Anderson Weahkee.