Deer Spirit

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“Deer Spirit”

With the turn-style base the dimensions are: 22.5” H x 10.5” W x 11” D
Limited to 40 editions
Approximately 8-week lead time
Order through our Purchasing page or Email Joe

During the fall season, in my village of Jemez Pueblo, we have a ceremony for all the big game animals that live in the New Mexico forests. In this dance the Deer, Pronghorn and the Ram all dance together in one line, in this ceremony I see them as brothers. Their regalia is somewhat similar, but each also has their own distinct differences as well.

The designs I placed on Deer Spirit represent his ceremonial regalia. On his chest is the Night Sky with Mother Moon and Stars, they represent the vastness of the Heavens and that we ascend upwardly. Then below this is a Rainbow design with Rain Clouds above and a Prayer Altar Step design inside the Rainbow. The songs they sing during this dance call out to the rains to come to our lands and fields of corn, squash and melons. Celebrated with beautiful rainbows that follow the rains. The Altar Step design inside the Rainbow represents our Kivas, our place of prayer. Below this design at the bottom are triangular shapes, one on top of another, these represent Prayer Feathers, they are sacred offerings we have placed our prayers upon.

To represent our ancestors, on his left side I placed designs of petroglyph images. At the top is the Thunderbolt, then below is a Hunter, then my symbol for Water, then the Sun design and the hoof print track of the Deer.

On his back is the Corn Stalk design, I placed it there because I see it as the backbone of the Pueblo people’s culture, corn has fed our people since ancient times. The Jemez people use both the yellow pollen and the corn meal in our ceremonies. The white corn especially has been and is still such an important part of our way of life. It is used in many different ceremonies, from the naming ceremony of new born babies, to the passing of a Loved One back to Spirit. It represents Pure Spirit.

Lastly, he has connecting Altar-Step designs on each side of his face, bringing a balance of design and color. These details represent the white jawline and darkened forehead of the Mule Deer buck.