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Sunshine Studio is having our annual 20% Off A, B, C Sale! This year; the sale will include carvings made in Antler, All available Buffalo Carvings and finally all the living artists in the Cheama Family. ENJOY!

February 5TH – Midnight, February 19TH

Antler: Antler is used by many of the Zuni carvers. An antler rates a 5 on the Mohs Scale so it is relatively easy to carve plus it is a solid mass with no layers and now hollows. Some artists today are even using the burr of the horn in rather creative ways. We have never heard that the animal is killed to acquire the antler. Rather antler is found by the shepherds when they are out tending their flock. Also antler carvers buy the antler from antler distributors for the need for antler often surpasses what can be found out in the fields.

Buffalo: Although buffalo habitat didn't extend as far south as the Zuni Pueblo, the Zuni men traveled north to hunt the buffalo as its hide, horns and meat were highly prized. Today, buffalo remain mostly on private land and aren't hunted, but the creature's magnificence & iconic association with the West still influence the Zuni imagination. The buffalo is associated with strength & emotional courage, substance & endurance and is a harbinger of snow in winter. The American buffalo or bison is a symbol of abundance and manifestation and is carved to help mankind overcome obstacles, build up emotional courage and physical strength.

The Cheama family are all realistic carvers. These carvers delight in the literal depiction of animals, they excel in the execution of concrete, minute detail. All the carvers started out learning the traditional approach to carving animals through their family connections. Don Sharp, an administrator with the Federal Young American Conservation Corps, was the first to encourage and promote realistic carving in Zuni. The now deceased Dan Quam, his half brothers' Lance, Fabian & Wilfred Cheama & their sister; Arvella - were the first family to develop the realistic style.

Fabian Cheama may be the best technical carver of the Cheama family. The details in his work are often finer and more intricate than those of his siblings. The etched fur and delicate features of his animals are superb. He often carves tails that curl many times, and perhaps this is both a bit of flourish as well as artistic license. His fetishes now bring the highest prices of any in the family.

Vivella Cheama, Fabian's wife, has a style quite distinct from that of her husband. Her horses are smooth, sleek, and beautiful. Her other creatures are simple and smooth. She is especially good at carving angels and maidens.

Lance Cheama is Dan Quam's half-brother and was the first person that Dan taught to make realistic carvings. Lance was famous for realistic lizards, mountain lions, and foxes. He and Dan were the two big name carvers of the 1980s. He has been doing other animals recently.

 Arvella Cheama has developed a style of her own. She is most famous for carvings of rabbits inside a log as well as hummingbirds, owls, and eagles, and each is unique in its own right.

Wilfred Cheama in the past has been one of the most prolific carvers in the Cheama family - he carves the widest range of animals and is the most realistic in his carving style. The features of his carvings are a bit softer and overall, he is more faithful to the animal. Wilfred's incised fur looks softer than that of his siblings, and his animals have rounder and happier looking faces. Cody Cheama is the twenty nine year old son of Wilfred Cheama who also is a carver. Like his father, Cody creates carvings with wonderful detail work but since he has a job, Sunshine Studio rarely receives his work.