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Claudia Peina

When we think of Claudia Peina - maiden carver is the first designation that comes to mind. Claudia creates her maidens in antler as well as many varieties of stone. Often times the maidens wear elaborate manta knee length dresses that are adorned with turquoise, jet or coral dots and have geometric incised lines that are later inlaid with jet. Claudia carves her women in many different styles; as a warrior maiden, with a Hopi hairstyle, carrying olla/water jars or their babies, grinding corn, as an angel or butterfly maiden or in ceremonial regalia - notably wearing elaborate tablita headdresses. On all her maidens; the hair style plays an important roll - namely to designate the maiden's marital status. Long and flowing hair signifies the maiden is a mother and if it is pinned up - the maiden is usually a unmarried woman.  

Also of note are Claudia's happy, singing bears. Most are carved in antler but she also carves them in stone. They have incised circular mouths that often display different emotions - they might be singing or smiling and often they appear to be dancing. Claudia also carves owls, frogs, badgers, beavers, coyotes, wolves and even medicine style bears. 

Claudia learned from many of her relatives; notably her maternal grandfather George Haloo Chee Chee, her maternal aunt Rosalia Quam and uncles Miguel and Ramie Haloo. Claudia's deceased brother Colvin Peina was a major influence - he started out as her carving partner. Kal Kallestewa - her partner at one point also helped create sterling silver wings, shields and spears.