These fetishes play an important function in the life of the Zunis, as well some other tribes. In tradition, each animal is believed to have inherent powers or qualities that may aid the owner. The Navajo, for example, treasured and bartered for figures of horses, sheep, cattle or goats to protect their herd from disease and to ensure fertility. The Zuni hunter was required to have his fetishes to aid in a successful hunt. The fetish was placed in a buckskin bag and carried by the hunter over his heart. It is believed from tradition that the fetishes require a meal of cornmeal and ground turquoise periodically. Fetishes may be kept in a clay pot as is the tradition, although collectors usually like to keep theirs somewhere where they can be admired. The function of the arrowhead fastened to some of them is twofold. 1. The arrowhead guides the hunter toward the animal he is hunting. 2. The arrowhead erases the hunter’s tracks, so enemies cannot follow him.
The fetishes below are all carved stone, and are genuine and authentic.
Fetishes and their Functions
We understand these Fetishes have various functions,
and from what we’ve read on the subject,
the following attributes are assigned to some of them:
Eagle: Spirit, a connection to the Divine
Deer: Gentleness, the possessor of gentleness
Bear: Strength, introspection, the power of the soul
Snake: Transmutation, life, death, rebirth
Turtle: Longevity, a symbol of Mother Earth
Wolf: Teacher, pathfinder on the journey of survival
Buffalo: Endurance to overcome one’s weakness .
Beaver: Builder, strong sense of family and home
Fox: Camouflage, protection
Badger: Aggressiveness, perseverance
Horse: Has the possession of healing powers
Frog: Invokes the spirits to bring rain
Ram: Used to secure an increase of flocks
Mountain Lion: Leadership, resourcefulness