Zuni Fetish Carvings and Zuni Necklaces

Aaron and Thelma Sheche

Aaron & Thelma Sheche

Thelma Sheche’s father, Theodore Kucate, in the 1880’s made the fetishes that Frank Cushing used in his notes to the Smithsonian.  The Sheche fetishes carved today are remarkably similar and as true to Zuni tradition as possible.

Aaron and Thelma are represented in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

Sadly Aaron Sheche passed away and Thelma is retired.  We have a few original Aaron and Thelma fetishes for sale.  In addition, we are offering a very rare, authentic  Kucate  Mountain Lion fetish carving

Lorindina Sheche, Thelma’s daughter and her son Aaron Jr, carry on the Kucate carving tradition.  Sometimes, Thelma’s grandaughter Marnella Kucate carves these fetishes as well.

Thelma and Aaron Sheche

Last photograph of Aaron Sheche with Thelma Circa 2003

Thelma is an outgoing and charming lady.  Aaron was a quite and serious man / artist.  Most of the Aaron and Thelma fetishes seen today were carved by Aaron. Thelma helped with the detail work and polishing.

I  always admired Thelma Sheche’s arrowheads. They seem to be maidens.

Thelma Sheche (in the 1950’s) started a Zuni dance troupe that traveled the world. Zuni women danced with beautiful pots on their heads to ancient chants.

Thelma is a mentor, always eager to lend a helping hand.

Thelma and Aaron are deeply religious and spiritual people  who believe in the old ways.  It does not take long to understand that to Thelma and Aaron the old ways, are love and understanding and compassion for all who share this world. 

These values were passed to her and she passes them on to others.

These ideas are clearly seen in their art. While Thelma and Aaron will no longer be carving they have left a legacy that will be with us forever.

I recall an eagle that Aaron and Thelma gave me.

I was hiking along the cliffs of Cathedral Rock. It was a beautiful  day.  I was climbing many hours and reached the top. But it was now time to go.

Cathedral Rock seen from the West

Trying to return quickly from a hike to the top of Cathedral Rock, I walked down the steep decline along a line made by rain water. I walked with my head down trying to avoid stepping in a hole or on a cactus.

Suddenly, as I was about to take my last step I saw blue sky. I saw blue sky looking down. I stopped in my tracks and slowly  raised by head up.  I was at the edge of a 500 foot cliff. My next step was over the edge.

  I rocked back and dropped to the ground. I could feel the mountain shaking trying to throw me off.

I slowly crawled backwards until it was safe to stand.

I decided now was a good time to take a break.

Exhilarated to be alive, I checked to make sure I hadn’t lost anything. I searched through my pockets but couldn’t find Aaron’s eagle carving that I always carried.

Looking back on that day, it seems to me that in the moment I found my self standing on the edge of the world, both Aaron’s Eagle and I were set free. 

Set free to start life’s adventure anew… but now from a vantage point that never existed for me before.

Aaron made me a new Eagle.


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