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Bola Bear Tie

Bola Bear Tie   The Bola Bear Tie includes:
*Dolomite medicine bear with turquoise heart line by Zuni carver Stewart Quandelacy
*Six-ply hand-braided leather cord
*Sterling tips and bezel
*3mm turquoise (on reverse)
*Signed, numbered, dated

Cord Length:  45" (114 cm)
Weight:  2.7 oz (77 gm)
Bear:  1.75" high x 2" wide (4.5 cm x 5 cm)

Photo: Melinda Holden

  Item #432                       SOLD

Medicine bears in this shape with elaborate heartlines are a signature of the well known Zuni carver Stewart Quandelacy. In fact, a similar bear graces the cover of Kent McManis' definitive Zuni Fetishes & Carvings. Despite having seen quite a few of these bears, I've never seen two that bear (!) any but the most remote resemblance to each other because the carver chooses such amazingly diverse stones and uses them so effectively. Here he found a marvelous bear-shaped spot in a piece of dolomite (the dark spot is only on the surface of one side). The bear has inlaid eyes and heartline (left side only) of turquoise. If you look at the shape carefully, it will become apparent that there would be no way to capture this bear with a wrap as I often am able to do with other bear carvings. So I made him into a bola tie using sterling to hold him (lunch is on the back, not to worry!).

One might think we must have run out of things to say about bear carvings, but I wonder, have we discussed the heartline? There is a section in Zuñi Fetiches called "The Drying of the World" wherein Cushing recounts this statement by the two children of the Sun Father (I'm quoting from the 1881 version, not the one shown below), "Then said they to the animals that they had thus changed to stone, 'That ye may not be evil unto men, but that ye may be a great good unto them, have we changed you into rode [sic-- perhaps from the context it should be "rock"] everlasting. By the magic breath of prey, by the heart that shall endure forever within you, shall ye be made to serve instead of to devour mankind.' ... Of these petrifactions, which are of course mere concretions or strangely eroded rock-forms, the Zuñis say, 'Whomsoever of us may be met with the light of such great good fortune may see (discover, find) them and should treasure them for the sake of the sacred (magic) power which was given them in the days of the new. For the spirits of the We-ma-á-hâ-i still live, and are pleased to receive from us the Sacred Plume (of the heart—Lä-sho-a-ni), and sacred necklace of treasure (Thlâ-thle-a); hence they turn their ears and the ears of their brothers in our direction that they may hearken to our prayers (sacred talks) and know our wants.'" Cushing describes in detail the power of the fetishes and notes, "Moreover, these powers, as derived from his heart, are preserved in his fetich, since his heart still lives, even though his person be changed to stone." McManis mentions a brief version of this story and he notes that a heartline represents the breath path leading to the magical power in the fetish's heart. Heartlines appear in many rock art images, you can find examples in Patterson. Contemporary artists such as Jesse Monongya (Navajo Hopi) use the heartline. Dubin cites Lambert Homer (1938) who speculated that the heartline image may have been introduced by the Navajo and Apache, Athapaskan-speaking peoples from the western Subarctic. While that may be, it appears from Cushing that there may also be a unique old Zuni tradition as well. She also illustrates an Ojibwa hide pouch embroidered with porcupine quills collected by Lewis and Clark (1804-6) with "realistic Thunderbird imagery" and heartline.

The Book of Stones gives Dolomite the keywords centerdness, calm, balance, moderation and grounding. Simmons says dolomite acts "like a 'reset' button on one's emotions." Ahsian adds that it is an excellent healing stone for toxicity and illness. There is much more material in this excellent volume about all stones mentioned. It is one of my very favorite sources of information about the metaphysical properties of stones. I particularly like Ahsian's summaries the spiritual, emotional and physical aspects of each stone. I find that it is fairly easy for almost anyone to sense the effects described in this work though few of us are able to articulate them as clearly as these authors.

A final note: bola ties really aren't dorky, nor are they worn exclusively by women and old-time rockhounds. A non-rockhound gentleman might very well discover that he likes them as well! I do hope that if this is your bear that you will take him home whether you are a man, a woman, an old hippie, an indigo child, a millennial, ... Or perhaps you are all of those rolled into one. Whoever you are, I hope you will enjoy this beautiful bear!

One-of-a-kind, subject to prior sale

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