Lakota Crafters White Marble Turtle Necklace by Freida Big Road
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The turtle pendent is carved out of marble. The beads are hairpipe bone beads, glass seed beads, and silver enameled beads. The necklace is strung on sinew. It measures 23" long.
The turtle, called "Keya" in Lakota, played a big role in Lakota tradition. A turtle has 13 large scales on his back bordered by 28 small scales. this coordinated with the 13 months on the Lakota calendar that lasted 28 days each. The spirit of Keya was believed to give long life and protection.
Freida Big Road started making and selling bead work when she was only 12 years old. Freida is an Oglala Lakota woman who is the great granddaughter of Chief Red Cloud.