They are carried by travelers to help assure safe passage. The fetish aids in the chase and represents "the roar of the animal" and is also fed on the blood of the slain prey. In the ceremony of the hunt the Keeper presented a clay pot containing the fetishes to the hunter. You can search by animal, artist, attributes such as healing or vision, or material used. Once blessed, the Fetish can endow the owner with its traditional traits and characteristics ranging from healing and fertility to transforming perspectives. The animals appear in Fetish form and are considered even more powerful if their color is correct based on this association.
American Indian Sculpture, Carving, and Figurines
According to Zuni tradition, the guardian animals of the six directions are intrinsically involved in the kiva rites: For example, the mole fetish is to protect the fields from rodents; frog fetishes are valued for fertility because of the numerous tadpoles they produce and their association with water. Another possible interpretation is that the heartline gives the fetish healing or medicinal power. One of the possible explanations for this heartline is that it represents a time in Zuni mythology when animals totally dominated man. The lightning is represented in the stone fetish by an inlaid or painted line. Photographs and history of Inuit carving arts.
THE COLLECTOR’S GUIDE: INDIAN FETISHES
Some fetishes will have an inlaid turquoise or coral "heartline" extending from the mouth to the center of the body. Fetishes are often seen with a bundle of coral, turquoise, or an arrowhead tied to the back or side. View some at our Native American Mask gallery. The gold lip mother of pearl shell arrowhead bundle and the top of the bear's head are inlaid with the artist's signature fine line inlay made with turquoise, pearl shell, red coral and jet. Photographs and history of Inuit carving arts.
Description: The lightning is represented in the stone fetish by an inlaid or painted line. Stands four and a half inches high, three inches wide at the center; signed with artist's name, Pueblo name Zuni and date Publications, Las Vegas, Nevada, Some fetishes will have an inlaid turquoise or coral "heartline" extending from the mouth to the center of the body. Masks, bentwood boxes, staves, wooden figurines, wall hangings, and more.