Hand carved & painted steer skull pendant - apache mountain spirit
The steer skull is hand carved from cow bone and water buffalo horn then hand painted. Hanging from an 18K yellow gold vermeil sterling silver chain with adjustable length of 18 or 20 inches. Named after Ganhs the Apache mountain spirit. Apaches believe that everything in nature has special power. The mountain spirits called Ganhs taught the Apaches many ceremonies and chants to overcome disease. The Apaches believe by performing ceremonial dances illnesses could be absorbed in a wand and blown away with the wind as the dancers moved. Healing the tribe with the energies of the wind and movement.
During the first several months of the pandemic my now husband and I quarantined in Bakersfield, California at his families ranch. Considered the Texas of California, the valley by the mouth of the canyon is flanked with citrus trees and small batch cattle ranches pushing up against golden grass hills winding through backroads littered with vintage oil rigs and farming equipment.
The highlight of each day was our morning hike through the rocky meadow, land that was once inhabited by the Yokut Indians. Along our hike we would comb the landscape for animal skeletons, wild flowers and perfectly formed round rocks. Inspired by our treasure hunts I found myself once again, in the "creative cave". Mixing together the the colors of the wild flowers and seasonal change along with the element of bone and horn produced this limited addition wearable totem.