Ray Tsalate's artistic brilliance and never-ending ingenuity is expressed in a truly remarkable single strand fetish necklace called "Mother Earth". He shared these meaningful words with us: "My inspiration comes from my Zuni culture. We are brought up to understand the Earth is our All-Mother. The Ultimate Feminine Divinity and Energy that flows through every single one of us; Flora & Fauna and the spaces in-between, like the blood in our veins. We are her Essence and Beauty manifested physically...I understood this piece to be a sort of homage to Mother Earth and her children."
Inspiration also came to Ray from an "eye-opening" trip to Chaco Canyon, an ancient ancestral puebloan site in northwestern New Mexico, as well as his Zuni Pueblo upbringing where he was taken to sacred sites and taught their significance. Both locations are home to early rock art or petroglyphs. At Chaco Canyon, he was in awe of the intricate rock art, incredible architecture, the culture and connection that exists there. In Zuni, the rock art he saw as a youngster was "connected to Mother Earth", "Human Figures or Caretakers", and a "variety of animals".
Back home in his studio was a rich stash of treasured beads made recently and years prior. After intricately carving, beautifully inlaying, polishing and carefully stranding a gorgeous assortment of high-quality materials such as sky-blue turquoise, glistening mother-of-pearl, pen shell, rare sugilite, gold lip shell, watery abalone, antler, serpentine, colorful lapis lazuli, spiny oyster shell, golden amber, garnet, fresh water pearl, red and pink corals, plus variscite, resulted in this never seen before, approximate 38" long museum-quality necklace. At its center is a cherished turquoise Mother, measuring about 1 1/2" long, 7/8" wide and 3/8" deep. Accompanying her are delightful animals such as birds, perhaps Eagles and Hawks, bushytails like Coyote, Wolf and Fox, Mountain-lions (cougar, puma or panther), maybe a Bison (or buffalo), Moles, Bears, Owls, Frogs, Turtles and Badgers. Heavenly stars, sweetly blooming flowers and even a darling mushroom are seen.
The exquisite lapis lazuli beads are faceted and twinkle with happiness along with the other mouth-watering ones. All the cheerful animal's eyes are inlaid from either coral, turquoise, pen shell, lapis lazuli, malachite and mother-of-pearl. A sterling silver toggle closure is lovely. Extra shipping charges may apply. This outstanding necklace will be featured in a special advertisement for Keshi in El Palacio magazine, Summer edition 2022.