We wanted to create a page for the prominent Leekya carvers that are still working today. These carvers are the direct descendants of the first carver in Zuni; Leekya Deyuse. Leekya Deyuse had three children; Alice Quam, - a famous jeweler, Sarah Leekya and Francis Leekya - both Sarah & Francis were carvers that have now passed away. Delvin, Fred and Hayes Leekya are the sons of Francis Leekya - the only son of Leekya Deyuse. The whole family carves with a travertine rock found on their land, now called Zuni rock. The family tradition is to carve animals that look up at the viewer with happy expressive faces.
Delvin Leekya creates simple traditional fetishes in the style of his famous grandfather. His earlier work was not immediately appreciated by collectors; however, his carvings are becoming both more interesting and more marketable. Delvin’s bears and wolves have whimsical attributes, such as the happy expressions that typified Leekya Deyuse’s work. His shell birds and maidens are known for their excellent use of the shape and form of natural shell.
Hayes Leekya carves happy animals, frogs, livestock and horses - all are carved to look up at the viewer. He has also rendered some human figures such as priests and women. From time to time he does innovative carvings such as chickens on nests with eggs and birds or dragonflies with mother-of-pearl and turquoise inlaid wings. We especially like his happy horses and frogs.
Fred Leekya is the carver in the family who tends to create less commonly carved animals like gorillas, donkeys, sheep or dogs - always with lots of personality. This is especially true of his livestock - he has quite a distinct horse and steer carving. Freddie also carves elegant human figures frequently with an inlaid cane of office, and rabbits dressed up as humans.
Enrike Leekya is the carving son of Fred Leekya. He is now the most active carver in the family carving everything from possums to unicorns and everything in between that is more "traditional" - like buffaloes, frogs, mountain goats, elk, moose, deer, horses, cattle, rabbits, owls and also dancers. His repertoire continues to expand exponentially.