Leekya Deyuse and his children Sarah, Alice and Francis
Leekya Deyuse was the master carver of Zuni fetishes to which all other carvers are routinely compared. Working for C.G. Wallace in the 1920's making tab, nugget and disc bead necklaces, Leekya advanced into carving fetishes and miniature sculptures. By 1926, he was fashioning fetish necklaces.
At times he was known to have collaborated with Teddy Weahkee, Dan Simplicio and Luke Billy Yazzie. Leekya favored working with silver, coral and natural turquoise. He made bears, deer, squirrels, horses, rams, steers, birds, ducks, frogs, turtles, butterflies and leaves--all shaped distinctively.
More than 30 years ago, a three-strand necklace by Leekya sold for $10,000 at auction, the same year a different Leekya necklace sold for $14,000. More recently a turquoise and coral two strand fetish necklace by Leekya was sold through SavvyCollector.com in excess of $35,000.00.
This artist's work was included in an exhibition held in 2002 "Jewels of the Southwest" held at the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture.