(1888-1980, Zuni) "Theodore Kucate worked as a farmer and a jeweler when he began carving fetishes in the 1920's. He based his early work on drawings in Frank Hamilton Cushing's Zuni Fetishes, finding encouragement among traders who appreciated his revival of traditional styles.
Kucate's styles remained rooted in the past, and he never attempted the level of detail achieved by some of his contemporaries. Nevertheless he showed considerable innovation in the way he rendered eyes and other features. Some of his fetishes have simple drilled holes or slits for eyes. On others, the eyes are indicated by inlaid turquoise chips or, in rare instances, beads.
In his later work, eyes are represented by raised turquoise dots. Often using pitch as an adhesive, Kucate set pieces of coral, jet or turquoise into his fetishes. Although he sometimes made horses and non-traditional animals, he fashioned them in the simpler, older Zuni style with which he felt comfortable.
Local stones were his favorite medium, including Ojo rock, an argillaceous stone found near the Zuni settlement of Ojo Caliente. Kucate continued to carve until shortly before his death in 1980." Zuni Fetish Carvers The Mid-Century Masters by Kent McManis