Crouching atop wing cut cabochon black onyx stones are tiny hand carved panthers waiting to pounce. Surrounding the settings is a carved water design element to represent the river ways of the Chickasaw homelands in the southeast.
Lethally beautiful and mysterious, the panther is an important clan animal in Chickasaw Culture. Koishto ‘ iksa’ is Panther Clan in the Chickasaw language. Koishto iksa is a leadership family group and is part of the Chickasaw social clan system. They were frequently depicted in shell and stone carvings as the underwater panther, a powerful being who’s domain was the under world accessed through lakes and river-ways. For me this top predator represents the power and beauty of the Chickasaw homelands in the southeast. Today the southeastern panthers are listed as endangered due to loss of habitat. They are a reminder to us that we must actively preserve these valuable ecosystems for future generations.