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Burt Awelagte and son Ryan Awelagte

Burt's fetishes have a highly unique abstract style that is immediately recognizable: dramatically angular incised lines suggest exaggerated body contours. He delights in emphasizing the face, breaking it down into elemental, geometrical shapes. He likes to use the more striking stones such as ammonite, crawstone, dolomite, fossil jasper, turquoise, coral and fluorite. The sculptural, fluid quality of his carvings is offset by dynamic, striking bundles.

Burt learned to carve from his first cousin, Joseph Quam, as well as from his other relatives. Burt is one of the younger carvers at Sunshine Studio. When he is not carving, he works as a maintenance person for the Zuni school district, repairing buildings and carrying out non-routine maintenance. He lives in Zuni with his wife and their four children. Burt's son, Ryan, has also started to carve, and Sunshine Studio is pleased to offer some of his fetishes as well.

Burt blesses each fetish he carves.

Ryan Awelagte is the oldest son of Burt Awelagte, now in his late twenties who learned to carve from his father. Ryan's style is evolving into abstract carved animals - differentiating himself from his father. He has perfected the eagle, the howling wolf & the medicine bear - often times creating a lovely offering bundle like his father; rarely using an arrowhead.  He uses yttrium fluorite, turquoise, honey calcite, jet, Egyptian, leopard & spirit stone marble. The animals are well polished but have only incised lines that create detail. We consider Ryan an abstract carver in the making who along with his younger brother Kyle Awelagte, are starting to recreate a style made famous by their maternal grandfather; Saul Yuselew.