Unelanuki cherokee sun goddess - hand carved & painted steer skull pendant
The steer skull is hand carved from cow bone and water buffalo horn then hand painted. Hanging from an 18K yellow gold vermeil over sterling silver chain with adjustable length of 18 or 20 inches. Named after the Cherokee Goddess of the Sun, Unelanuki. Unelanuki presided over all things when the earth was created, and was said to have made the earth to provide for her children.
During the first several months of the pandemic my boyfriend and I quarantined in Bakersfield, California at his families ranch. Bakersfield is considered the Texas of California. The valley 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.