Pueblo: Zuni Pueblo
Burt Awelagte is a young and creative Zuni fetish carver who learned the art of carving from his extended family, including Gibbs Otole and Joseph Quam. Burt carves bears and big horn sheep, wolves among other animals from turquoise, wild horse marble, jet, serpentine, and denim lapis stone. . When he is not carving, he works as a maintenance person for the Zuni school district, repairing buildings and carrying out non-routine maintenance. He lives in Zuni with his wife and their four children.
Burt’s fetishes have a highly unique abstract style that is immediately recognizable: dramatically angular incised lines suggest exaggerated body contours. He delights in emphasizing the face, breaking it down into elemental, geometrical shapes. He likes to use the more striking stones such as ammonite, crawstone, dolomite, fossil jasper, turquoise, coral and fluorite. The sculptural, fluid quality of his carvings is offset by dynamic, striking bundles.