(Non-Jewelry) & Specialty Items
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TEDDY WEAHKEE WATER SERPENT OR SEA ANIMAL
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Artist: Teddy Weahkee
Provenance: Private collectors WF
Among the most renowned Zuni fetish carvers is Teddy Weahkee.
horned water serpent carved by Teddy features a shell and Blue Gem turquoise bundle wrapped over leather and a corn plug (feeding hole), which still contains a small amount of corn pollen.
This amazing serpent measures 18 1/2" long and 5" diameter at its widest point. The horn is 4" tall. The serpent most certainly had feathers attached at one time, but have long since deteriorated. Only a tiny chip is broken off of the tongue, otherwise it is in excellent condition.
The Legend of Kolowisi, Water Serpent of Zuni Pueblo: The horned water serpent is a hero in Zuni because he saved the Zuni people from the flood. When the waters rushed into Zuni Pueblo, the people fled to the top of their sacred mountain, Dowa Yallane (Corn Mountain), to get above the flood.
They were dying of thirst and starvation and so said prayers to each of the six directions, asking for rescue. Kolowisi heard their prayers and came from the West direction and rested his jaw on top of Dowa Yallane and regurgitated fresh water, meat and seeds and so saved the Zuni people. When the waters receded Kolowisi did not want to go back to the West and so he now resides in the underground lake in the South where the katsinas live.
Kolowisi is the guardian of the water sources and can move around in aquifers and into Zuni River, Salt Lake, or any body of water. He is very sacred and sometimes is brought into Zuni Pueblo as a katsina.
The material used is deer antler.
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