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Lena Boone - Zuni Pueblo

Background of Lena Boone

Lena Boone is the daughter of Edna Leki, who is believed to have been the first female fetish carver at Zuni, and the granddaughter of Teddy Weahkee.  Weahkee became well known for a style of fetish carving that closely resembles historic Zuni forms.  His descendants have carried on this tradition.

Lena and her sister, Dinah Gasper, have established reputations as superior carvers, producing both freestanding fetishes and finely crafted fetish necklaces.  Lena has been carving for 40 years (the age of her daughter).  Lena's daughter Evalena and son Leland are also carvers.  Beyond her extraordinary skills and artistry as a carver, Lena brings a huge sense of humanity to everything she does.  Lena has provided shelter, comfort and guidance to numerous Zuni children.

View our collection of Lena Boone fetishes.

The Artwork of Lena Boone

Lena's fetishes are simple and traditional.  Lena is a major force in the movement to continue traditional carving.  A large part of her fetishes' beauty and uniqueness comes from the use of many different materials. 

One of the things that characterizes Lena's work is her use of new and unusual materials, from orthoceras fossils to gold slag and glass.  Because Lena has some of the only water-cooled grinding equipment in Zuni, only she can carve fetishes from glass.  The striking colors in slag glass and art glass could be unique additions to your collection. 

In addition to table fetishes, Lena produces by far the best fetish jars in Zuni, and some remarkable fetish necklaces.

A Few Words from Lena Boone

"I grew up with the art,” says artist Lena Boone.  Boone is known for her traditional, abstract forms in such diverse materials as opal, fossilized coral, and satin spar gypsum. “We’re teaching it to our kids, and they’ll teach it to theirs.”

Lena Boone is the matriarch of the Boone/Weahkee family and, following the recent death of Edna Leki, is the next in a long line of carvers tracing back to Teddy Weahkee.  At the present time, Lena's energy is devoted to her children, her grandchildren, her nephews and her nieces, of which there are many.  The whole extended family is carving, although the bulk of the pieces produced are still done by Lena.

View our collection of Lena Boone fetishes.

 

Lena Boone and daugter Evalena

Lena & Evalena Boone
July 2009

 


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