Zuni Fetishes by Leekya Deyuse (Research)

Leekya Deyuse Zuni Fetish Carver

The pictures below are from a recently discovered Leekya fetish necklace. Many of the animals carved on it have not been seen before. Notice the fine detail, the fetishes seem alive. These are Zuni fetish qualities that carvers still seek to attain and few master.

A rabbit appears on the left. Occasionally Leekya family carvers will make rabbits. Francis Leekya (Leekya’s son whose own story is magical) carved a few rabbits before he passed away. Leekya’s daughter Elizabeth made some beaded rabbits. I have also seen Hayes make a few.

The turquoise frog brings to mind the work of Ricky Laahty.

A shell horse… Zuni fetish horses were brought back by Francis. He graced us with a few beautifully carved horses before his death. Hayes now enjoys carving them.

Bird’s like this are sometimes carved by Sarah and Delvin.

The Deer head seen on the right is totally unique.


Notice the notched ears and expressive face.

Another Turquoise frog and Shell horse. Also pictured in the foreground is a shell hand.

Top left is a carved shell arrowhead. Below the arrowhead is a snake… I never before saw a Leekya snake.

Abalone bird - Shell Sheep – Shell Leaf

This rare Leekya Deyuse Necklace contains 39 fetishes.  Some appear to me to be just stones or shells. Of the 39 fetishes, 27 I can identify.

They include bears, Frogs, Fawn, Rabbit, Serpent, Horse, Mole, Feet Hand, Leaf, Wolf, Ram, Arrowhead, and Birds.

They range in size from 1/2″ to 1 5/8″

I believe the Heishe is Tortoise Shell

It appears to have been strung on Sinew.

I believe that this was a Ceremonial piece. It was Zuni owned and worn.

Leekya Deyuse 1  Leekya Deyuse 2  Leekya Deyuse 3  Leekya Deyuse 4

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