Byson Bobelu was our first artist to be featured in our Artist Spotlight. Bryson’s family tree is rich with generations of amazing talent. Bryson’s own connection with Keshi actually begins with him as a student in Robin’s (Keshi co-founder) 6th grade class in 1981, the very same year that the Keshi shop was founded. Bryson has a wide repertoire of subjects and uses a mix of materials that are local to Zuni as well as imported. A little of Bryson’s humble and happy attitude is imparted into each of the pieces he creates and is visible in the expressions of his carvings. Below is a brief auto-biography in Bryson’s own words.
Keshi (Greetings from Zuni),
My name is Bryson Bobelu of the Frog Clan and child of the Eagle Clan and a member of the Zuni Pueblo. In the early '70s when I was 15 years old, I would watch my grandpa, Saul Yuselew and uncle, Harvey Bewanika, who was almost blind, carve fetishes outdoors at their home. I would sit next to them, asking what they were making. They would always tell me they were carving bears and birds, traditional to the Zuni. I was always amazed to see their finished pieces, which had been so carefully carved and then were sold to provide income for the family.
At the same time, after watching and learning from them, I started carving on my own. Also, at that time, I learned that the late Leekya Deyusee was my great grandfather, who is now considered one of the most famous fetish carvers from Zuni. His work can be seen in many museums across the United States. Fetish carving has been passed down in my family for many generations. Today, my family is keeping this tradition alive.
I like to use rock found in my homeland, Zuni, New Mexico, for many of my carvings. I usually make animals, birds, and some reptiles. They most important animals I carve are mountain lions, bears, badgers, wolves, coyotes, and bobcats which belong to the six directions according to our religion. These are the most power fetishes that carved and are used by my people and other tribes for hunting, protection, and healing.
I hope that future generations of Zunis will keep carving fetishes for all, so there will be blessings and healing for all the world.
The offerings shared below are just a small selection of what is available in our physical gallery shop. Contact Us.