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Lucy Ceshu (1933-2004)


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Artists from Zuni Pueblo have been known for hundreds of years as fine lapidary craftspeople. Lucy Ceshu was a Zuni jeweler who worked with her husband Quincy Panteah to create high quality stone-to-stone inlay.   Zuni mosaic work originated from the prehistoric tradition of setting cut and polished stone and shell onto wood or shell backings by using piñon pitch. Laborers who assisted in the Heye Foundation archaeological excavation of the pueblo of Hawikuh in the 1920s were inspired by some of the artifacts they discovered and are thought to have revived shell mosaic work by 1930 and possibly as early as 1920. It was during this time that trader C. G. Wallace bought the trading post at Zuni and began encouraging Zuni artists to create jewelry comprised of intricately cut pieces of stone and shell-channel inlay, mosaic inlay, petit-point and needlepoint.