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Old tradition Comes to Great Bend
new re Zuni
Artist Bryson Bobelu is pictured here in his native New Mexico.

According to Zuni Fetish carvings are part of the Zuni Religion. The Zuni People believe in the six sacred directions. These directions are above, north, east, south, west, and below. Each directions is also represented by a color: multicolored, yellow, white, red, blue, and black. These colors can be seen in different carvings that represent a certain direction. Each direction is also represented by a certain animal that is believed to have certain powers that help with hunting, healing, and for protection.

Traditions are an important part of people’s lives. Many of these traditions have been handed down from family members. People of Great Bend will be able to see one of these traditions first hand at the Petr’s Frame House and Gallery Thursday and Friday.
Bryson Bobelu of the Zuni village in Pueblo, N.M., is a rock carver. He makes different designs from native stone found in New Mexico.
After watching his grandfather, and learning all he could. Bobelu started carving figurines in the early 70’s.
“Fetish carving has been passed down in my family for many generations. Today, my family is keeping this tradition alive,” Bobelu said.
Bobelu great grandfather, Leekya Deyusee who is considered one of the most famous fetish carvers from Zuni. His work can be seen in many museums across the United States.
Bobelu usually carves animals, birds and some reptiles. But he also carves specific animals like mountain lions, bears, badgers, wolves, coyotes and bobcats, these animals represent the six directions according to the Zuni religion.
“These are the most powerful carvings that used by the Zuni people and other tribes for hunting, protection, and healing,” Bobelu said.
Bobelu will be hosting a workshop and exhibit at Petr’s Frame House and Gallery. The workshop will have two sessions, and the cost for the workshop is $50 with limited seating. Materials and tools will be provided at the workshop to create your own carving. The workshop will be from 10 a.m. to noon and again at 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday. The exhibit will be from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. with a presentation at 7 p.m. on Friday.
If you would like to purchase one of his carvings, Bobleu will have some of his work for sale at the exhibit.
For more information contact Petr’s Frame House and Gallery at 620-282-9845.