V/L Hallmark on Zuni Longhorn Kachina Inlay Belt Buckle

I’ve replied to hundreds of your queries on hallmarks and now its my turn !! HELP !!

I wonder if any of you have seen this V/L hallmark before. See the photos for the hallmark and the buckle itself.


The buckle is from a collection we purchased from a gentleman who bought buckles over the last 10-40 years and kept them in a display case so they are NOS (New Old Stock).  The prong on this buckle was shaky so we had the prong replaced – that is the only new part on it.

It is a Zuni inlay of Longhorn Kachina also known by and associated with other kachina names including Saiyatash, Sai-astasana, Zuni Rain Priest of the North, and Hututu. Some say that Longhorn Kachina is usually accompanied by his “Deputy” Hututu. They look quite similar.

Longhorn Kachina has a single long horn sticking off to the right side of his mask and is always seen with his distinctive black and white (striped or checkered) neck ruff.

He has a long left eye which is said to bring a long life to good people. In addition, he is called a hunter/warrior and the Rain Priest of the North who has the ability to control the weather.

I’ve researched the hallmark in all of my references and online and so far this is what I came up – it is NOT the same as either of these other VL hallmarks.   Any ideas?

Vera Luna Virgil LeekyaBU128-BG-inlay-kachina-VL-3Paula

Since artists do change their hallmarks over the years and since one reader showed me a piece by Vera Luna that seems to be a match to this buckle, I will surmise, this buckle was made by Vera Luna. Here is the bolo. Except for the fact that the kachina on the buckle has one extra black feather, these are twins !

vera luna full piece

12 thoughts on “V/L Hallmark on Zuni Longhorn Kachina Inlay Belt Buckle

  1. I found VL for Vernon Lunasee in a handwritten list of Zuni artists, the diagonal line may have been left out by the person who made the list.

  2. Perhaps one of the Hallmarks artists you found signed differently in the long ago past. early work. though i must say that it’s absolutely gorgeous. if it’s really old, say Dead Pawn, perhaps an unknown. You have such immense resources and experience at this i am amazed that you don’t know it by heart. ❤

    • Thank you boobear………..and ha ha………there is too much to remember !!!! BUT, I think you are right, in that often artists change their hallmarks over the years and if I had to guess, Vera Luna is known for her inlay kachina jewelry, so it could be her hallmark. If not hers, then perhaps it is a husband and wife team as often the / indicates two different people. Paula

  3. Even though the hallmark is not exactly like the ones you are showing for Vera Luna, the work is nearly identical to hers. I have seen a full-size Saiyatasha (Long Horn Kachina) made by her, and the head is the same except that it had 4 feathers on top instead of 5.

  4. On the V.L. topic … I would LOVE some assistance. I have a very intricate Zuni (I think) concho. The hallmark is V.L. and the L is in script. I have searched and searched no luck finding any info. All assistance is much appreciated.

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