Fish Charm (Wai-ka-shi-ta)
Arts of the Americas
On View: Great Hall, South, 1st floor
Turquoise first appears in the archeological record of the southwestern United States in the 500s C.E. The stone, which gained popularity among the Ancient Puebloan people of Chaco Canyon by the early 900s C.E., was primarily used in ceremonial and funerary offerings and for personal adornment. For the Zuni, descendants of the Ancient Puebloans, turquoise holds a place of paramount importance: a stone popular among the gods. Charms such as these represent in a physical form the power of the animal or object in whose likeness they are carved.
Shell, turquoise, resin
1/4 × 2 3/4 × 11/16 in. (0.6 × 7 cm) (show scale)
Museum Expedition 1903, Museum Collection Fund
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She-we-na (Zuni Pueblo). Fish Charm (Wai-ka-shi-ta), 19th century. Shell, turquoise, resin, 1/4 × 2 3/4 × 11/16 in. (0.6 × 7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Expedition 1903, Museum Collection Fund, 03.325.3407. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: , 03.325.3318_03.325.3398_03.325.3407.jpg)
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This small piece of shell in the shape of a curved fish or moon phase has been inlaid with resinous material and turquoise.
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