American Indians have used fetishes throughout recorded history. Fetishes are believed to hold magical powers and protect the owner or craftsmen from various problems of mind or body. Some believe that their mystical powers can even protect against problems of the universe. It is also believed that the care a fetish receives is directly proportional to the protection it will provide. Indians believe that fetishes must be properly cared for.
Fetishes are used by the Zuni primarily for hunting, protection and to ensure fertility. The Zuni believe that a spirit lives within the fetish, giving it its unique power. Common animal fetishes include bears, moles, badgers, wolves, mountain lions, foxes, coyotes and birds. Less common fetishes include domestic creatures such as goats, sheep, horses and cows, as well as snakes, frogs and turtles. Real and symbolic figures such as corn maidens are often carved.
Moose fetish carved out of Elk Antler with inlaid Turquoise eyes. Skip to main content. Email to friends Share on Facebook - opens in a new window or tab Share on Twitter - opens in a new window or tab Share on Pinterest - opens in a new window or tab. Add to Watchlist. People who viewed this item also viewed.
Zuni saying: You do not choose the fetish, the fetish chooses you. Antelope - Buffalo, sheep, deer, antelope, elk and rabbit are all game animal fetishes, which help increase the numbers of these animals so the Zuni have plenty to eat. Armadillo - Armadillo is the keeper of the home. Badger is fierce and tenacious and can be counted on in tight situations to display boldness and perseverance. Badger represents passion and persistence.