Enchanted Quail

By Enrike Leekya

Animal: Quail, Material: Zuni Travertine
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New Mexico is home to four species of quail. Although they are one of the most abundant non-migratory bird species in the state, a general decline in their numbers is due to lost habitat, the diminished quality of their remaining habitat and climate change. These delightful birds are a joy to observe, as their movements and sweetness enchant. A father quail will dutifully lookout for his family while they happily feed.

Enrike Leekya's quail is a wonderful representation of these amazing birds. He comes from a fabulous family line of Zuni Pueblo artists, descending from noted and famous fetish carver Leekya Deyuse (d). Enrike's father is carver Freddie Leekya and his mother is jeweler April Unkestine.

Enrike's quail has been carved from a gorgeous material indigenous to the Zuni Pueblo area, called Zuni travertine, sometimes referred to as Zuni stone or Zuni rock. It's a non-crystalline travertine found in amazing yellow, brown and grey hues. Leekya Deyuse (d) was especially noted for carving in this stone, which his descendants like Enrike do today. 

Turquoise eyes and a crest adorn this approximate 2 3/4" long, 1 1/4" wide and 2 1/2" deep fetish. A fabulous beak of jet has been overlaid and etched feathers are lovely.