The Great Seneca Chief Fan
           
11/o Czech and Japanese glass beads, copper beads, antique trade beads, green lip mussel, Narrangansett turkey tail and coverlet feathers, Beautiful Cebu shell, hand-cut quahog wampum shell beads, Lake Erie clam shell, St. Lawrence River clam, crow wing pointer feathers, raw silk, purple-blue dye, deer skin, oak, synthetic sinew
                                  fan span: approximately 14" x 72" length

                                                                         2006-2008 

        $4,500         

 

 

    When Anthony "Rusty" Zarbo was a young boy, his Dad would always bring home pheasant and ruffled grouse he and his brothers or friends had shot in the south towns below Buffalo. While the family was always excited to see these exotic birds in the sink for cleaning, Rusty was fascinated if not amazed by the iridescent neck feathers of the pheasant or the natural op-art patterns of the Fall season ruffled grouse tail feather designs. For him, it was a chance to get close to some of G*d's and the birds' magical gifts, the feathers. He doesn't remember seeing the birds being cooked. Those feathers blinded his memory.
    His Dad would always tell him about a Native American Seneca chief that would grant his Dad, family and friends permission to hunt on the Seneca reservation lands. For young Rusty, Native Americans were spiritual in a way that for him at that age seemed deeper, more sincere than the Sunday church duty he was brought up in and told to pray through. So it was with great anticipation that one after-church Sunday afternoon, his Dad, already close to Angola, New York, suggested the family go and visit his friend the chief so his son could meet "a real Indian chief".
    From the moment the Oldsmobile entered south town regions Rusty was unfamiliar with, the car floated, soundlessly, to the reservation gates. The family exits the car, while his Dad approached the cabin doors..."No, he's not here today; he's gone out into the fields - not sure where he is..." was the woman's answer, and though the words couldn't be heard that was the message delivered a few minutes later when Dad returned to the open car doors and his stretching, yawning family.
    Rusty never did get to meet the Seneca chief that day, but he never forgot how close he got, and he never forgot the kindness extended his father, family and friends those times when he was given permission to hunt on Native lands.
    This fan is in remembrance of that Seneca chief. 

    In addition to the Czech and Japanese 11/o glass seed beads, the copper beads and deer skin, an especial material featured on this Great Seneca Chief Fan is the hand-cut true quahog clam wampum made by Cayuga deer clan member, Ken Maracle, Haohyohno, whose exceptional work may be seen at the Canada Museum of Civilization, the New York State Museum, the Seneca Iroquois Museum, and the Plymouth Historical Museum in Michigan, among many others.
    There are additional clam shells that are part of this fan; the larger pink one connected to the upper fringe is a pre-zebra mussel clam shell from Lake Erie, over forty-years old, as well as a clam shell disk also attached to the fringe and cut from an old blue-silver clam shell found in the vicinity of Alexandria Bay-1,000 Islands in the St. Lawrence River.
    The crow feather wing pointers were added as a symbol of imminent powerful action, memory and speech.