Fetishes are hand-carved of many different materials. They are usually designed to resemble different animals or religious symbols.
The Zunis believe animals have special powers and that these carvings are full of those unique properties of the animal to bring them good luck.
There are six directions in Zuni beliefs, and a symbolic color and animal guardian for each of them:
Some fetishes have prayer bundles on their backs for medicine and to help their message or prayer be heard. They may include arrowheads to protect them on their journey, and are bound to the fetish with sinew which is known for its strength. Coral may be included to represent ocean life, turquoise to represent the sky or birds, black for night, white for winter, brown for earth.
Other fetishes may be inlaid with a heart line. This will starts at the mouth since breath is the living spirit. They end at the soul which is where faith, spirit and inner strength are held.
Many Native Americans believe their fetishes need special care - that the fetish should be offered corn meal and given great admiration as befits its great spirit and purpose. The better it is treated the better it will perform is the central belief.
Be sure to call, email or come by the gallery if you are thinking of adding to your own fetish collection! We currently have one of the largest collections in the country of new and antique fetishes!
Our friendly sales staff would be delighted to answer your questions, or assist you in finding the perfect fetish for you!
Some Common Fetish Meanings
|Armadillo||Keeper of the home, slow and sure to get things done right. Thick skinned and reserved, he represents variety in a person's inner life.|
|Badger||Persistent and passionate, badgers have great knowledge of the earth and won't give up until they get what they want.|
|Bat||Guardian of the night|
|Bear||Guardian of the West, Bear is a spiritual guide with supernatural powers. Strong, introspective and gifted with self knowledge. White bear fetishes are the most powerful medicine bears|
|Beaver||Industrious and hard-working, Beaver represents achievement and promotes family unity.|
|Bobcat (Lynx)||The hunting animal of the South, bearing the ability to see the future and know secrets. This fetish is often used when hunting antelope.|
|Buffalo||Representing abundance and emotional courage, Buffalo has the endurance to overcome. He is the prophet.|
|Butterfly||Represents transformation and beauty.|
|Corn Maiden||She represents creation, strength and wisdom.|
|Coyote||The master trickster, Coyote brings laughter and humor. He works well in a group and can laugh at himself.|
|Crow||Keeper of the sacred law|
|Deer||Gentle and able to sacrifice for the greater good, Deer represents agility, speed and grace.|
|Dog||Represents loyalty and friendship.|
|Dolphin||Represents trust and friendship.|
|Duck||Represents the spirits of those who have passed on.|
|Eagle||Connected to the Creator, Eagle has healing power. His soaring spirit can overcome personal problems. He represents vision, intuition and creativity.|
|Elk||Elk has great stamina and represents confidence and strength.|
|Falcon||Intuitive and with the ability to see the big picture, Falcon represents harmony and power.|
|Fish||A purifier with the ability to hide emotion.|
|Fox||Clever and observant, Fox has the ability to blend in.|
|Frog||Representing fertility and the cycle of life, Frog is used to invite rain.|
|Hawk||The messenger of the gods, representing energy and inspiration.|
|Horse||Possessing healing powers, Horse represents partnership, speed and strength.|
|Lizard||Represents patience, wisdom, communication and agility.|
|Mole||The guardian of the underground, Mole is grounded and has awareness and introspection.|
|Mountain Lion||Guardian of the North, Mountain Lion represents leadership and resourcefulness. This fetish is often carried by travelers for protection and by hunters for guidance and a successful hunt.|
|Mouse||Represents scrutiny and attention to detail.|
|Otter||Represents balanced femininity.|
|Owl||Guardian of the home, Owl sees what others cannot. Wise, true and patient.|
|Parrot||Representing the sun, Parrot is like a rainbow, made with rain, sun and light.|
|Porcupine||Representing the power of trust and faith.|
|Rabbit||Representing gentleness, serenity and virtue, Rabbit is the special guardian of women in childbirth and brings long life to children.|
|Raccoon||A bandit who is shy, yet resourceful.|
|Ram||A herd animal, this fetish is used to increase the number of animals.|
|Raven||Clever and magical, Raven represents a change in consciousness. The messenger of mystery who guides us through dark times.|
|Snake||Symbolizing life, death and rebirth, Snake has curative powers and helps us connect with primitive energies. He represents lightning.|
|Spider||Representing the creative patterns in life.|
|Squirrel||Industrious and intelligent,Squirrel represents the ability to plan ahead and is the protector of stored reserves.|
|Skunk||Representing inner strength and self-respect, Skunk has a good reputation.|
|Turtle||The symbol of Mother Earth, longevity, tenacity, self-confidence and reliability.|
|Wolf||Wolf is the pathfinder and teacher, mating for life and displaying loyalty and family values.|