Pueblo: Zuni Pueblo

Faye QuandelacyFaye Quandelacy, a graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, is known throughout the country and abroad for her small fetishes and fetish necklaces. Of special interest to Faye is the sculptural depiction of the three stages of womanhood: the Maiden, the Mother, and the Wise Elder.

She studied at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe with the great Hopi sculptor, Alan Houser. Upon returning to Zuni she went about teaching her family new skills. Faye’s art is a merger of traditional Zuni fetish carving (folk art) with subtle elements of great sophistication. Faye Quandelacy advanced the look and feel of Zuni fetish carving while keeping the accepted Zuni form intact, and is considered one of Zuni’s greatest carvers and among the most important in the history of the Pueblo.

In the Pueblo Indian culture, corn is to the people the very symbol of life. The Corn Maiden brought this gift. As the corn is given life by the sun, the Corn Maiden brings the fire of the sun into the human bodies, making them as the creator designed them to be. The Great Spirit has given man many representations of His love and power through nature. The Corn Maidens are said to have been created by the Great Spirit in the palm of his right hand. Each Maiden brings one seed of corn that is nurtured with love like that given to a child, that this one seed would sustain the entire tribe forever. With love and strength from the tribe, the tiny seeds mature and grow tall and strong, soon offering mature ears of corn for an abundance of crops for the people. The spirit of the Corn Maidens is forever present with the tribal people. The Corn maiden is the ‘ Grandmother of the Sun and The Grandmother of the Light”. The Quandelacy family is widely known for their exquisite detail and phenomenal fetish carvings.