The New Mexico whiptail is a female-only species of lizard found in New Mexico, other areas in the southwest and in northern Mexico. It is the official state reptile of New Mexico. Perhaps Zuni Pueblo carver Lance Cheama's wonderfully realistic reptile might be a whiptail or other Lizard species. A turned head has eyes from turquoise inlays while a gorgeously long tail conveys a sense of movement as it rests along the back. About 3 3/4" long, 1 1/4" wide and 5/8" tall, carved from a desert-hued Picasso marble.
Lance comes from the greater Natewa, Dallas Quam (d) and Panteah family of noted Zuni carvers. Other carving siblings from this family include Fabian Cheama, Arvella Cheama and Wilfred Cheama. They've been innovators in contemporary fetish carvings.
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