This four ounce medicine jar’s lid has been capped in 26 gauge Sterling silver and is crowned with a genuine Zuni squirrel fetish carved from spotted serpentine by Ephran Chavez (see below).
Spotted serpentine is sometimes referred to, perhaps incorrectly, as augite or argite, of which little accurate information can be found. Since the mineral serpentine has so many variations in color, we are using the assumption that spotted serpentine, or argite, is just a specific color pattern of one of the serpentine minerals. The name Serpentine refers to a group of predominantly green minerals that occur in masses of small intergrown crystals. Some say this stone earned its name from the word “serpent” as its coloring resembles the skin of a snake. It was in the 19th century that people became aware of the fire resistant nature of serpentine, and as a result it was utilized in many materials and fabrics. According to legend, Romans used this stone as protection against sorcery and the dark arts. Vessels were made of serpentine, as they were said to shatter if they came into contact with poison. Therefore, many ancients began using serpentine to craft drinking vessels. It has a hardness of 2 to 5 on the Mohs scale, and can be white, yellow, green, gray, brown, black, or multicolored, with green and yellow being prevalent.
The metaphysical qualities of the stone serpentine can help one with remembering past lives, meditation, and spiritual exploration. It is also good for diabetes, hypoglycemia, and detoxing.
The Sterling silver on the lid serves to enhance the energies of the stones around it, while also strengthening the connection between the astral and physical planes.
To the Zuni, the squirrel is known for swiftness and adaptability. He represents natural intelligence and the ability to foresee and plan ahead. He is a paragon of industriousness and the supreme protector of reserves.
Placing your keepsakes, herbs, or medicine in the Native American Medicine jar infuses them with these powerful, timeless energies. Experience the power of Native American Medicine and own an amazingly unique fusion of art and ancient wisdom.
Ephran Chavez is a Zuni carver that is well known for his badgers and traditional animal carvings. He was taught by Herbert Him, whose influence can clearly be seen. Ephran is a member of the Lunasee, Tsethlikai, and Chavez families.
Jar measures: 3 1/4″ tall x 2 1/2″ diameter (without fetish)
Design Concept and project coordination by Native American Medicine Company, headed by WB Freeman.
This medicine box was constructed by Sun Arc Jewelry Arts, with master craftsmanship by Pat McCartney, who has created distinctive jewelry and stonework for over 40 years, cutting her first stones at 13 years of age.
The fetish used by Native American Medicine Company was collected by Zuni Fetish Gallery, led by Dave Dozark, who has traded in Zuni fetishes for over 20 years. Box construction materials provided by Bruce Barlow of Barlow’s Gems, a foremost purveyor of minerals and gemstones in the Southwest.
The squirrel fetish was hand carved by Ephran Chavez, a tribesman of the Shiwi people, residing in the pueblo of Zuni, in the northwest corner of New Mexico.