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Fetishes & Carvings

The word "fetish" can be broadly applied to a number of Native American ceremonial artifacts, including peace pipes, prayer sticks, medicine bags, and so on. But today the word is most often used to mean an animal carving, usually in stone, which houses the spirit or supernatural qualities of that animal. Native Americans have great reverence for the unseen world, believing everything contains spirit. Fetishes, amulets and talismans are related; all may be used to invoke protection, luck, fertility, abundance and healing. The use of fetishes by Native Americans dates to pre-Columbian times. Fetish use is as prevalent today as then.

Every fetish carving is unique and distinctive in color, markings and shape. The great variability in the matrix of the natural material combines with the artistry of the carver to create a special personality. Fetishes are sometimes embellished. Arrows, with beads of shell, turquoise and coral, or bundles of parrot feathers are often used. Certain animals may be carved with a heartline, a lightening bolt of inlaid stone or shell, which runs from the mouth of the fetish to the heart center, representing the spirit essence.

Native Americans consider those things that are the least understood and most mysterious as the most sacred and powerful. Because their ways can never truly be understood by humans, animals represent unknown powers. As man tries to grasp forces which are beyond his immediate control, he looks to animal spirits as a bridge to the greater powers.

We have an enormous Ramah Navajo and Zuni fetish collection, and are in the process of posting new items. If there is something you are looking for immediately, please contact us as we most likely have it in stock. In the mean time, come back soon to see our most recent additions!

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