Claudia Peina, Zuni Fetish Creator
Over the years, Claudia has created numerous unique images – warrior maiden, ‘Hopi’ maiden, olla maidens, grinding woman, bread maker, bow priest, corn maidens and even haloed angels. She is also well-known for her variety of bears.
Claudia’s images exhibit happiness, freedom and carefreeness – all a reflection of her own personality and the love for her Zuni tribe.
Mentors include maternal grandfather George Haloo Chee Chee, maternal aunt Rosalia Quam and uncles Miguel and Ramie Haloo and her beloved deceased brother and original carving partner, Colvin Peina.
When new ideas for carvings are offered to her, Claudia will spend a few moments in silence and then announces that, yes, she ‘will give it a try’. She always succeeds and thus is born yet another innovative design by this most creative Zuni fetish carver.
Her most original and imaginative carvings are in elk antler. Claudia’s series of standing bears are known as ‘Good News Bears’, small figurines in a dozen or more poses and ‘attitudes’. They each bring joy to the beholder and are created with skill, speed and dexterity rarely seen among carvers.