History & Context of Fetishes
A fetish is an object, natural or man made, in which a spirit is thought to reside and which can be used to effect either good or evil. Zuni belief, like that of most Native Americans, gives a spiritual nature to all animals and plants. In addition, it is believed that animals have powers that humans do not: animals are stronger, faster, and can fly or burrow underground and thus are creatures to be feared and respected. If a stone or part of the landscape resembles an animal, such as a mountain that looks like a sleeping bear, or a...
Zuni Fetishes From Frank Hamilton Cushing
The use of fetishes by Indians dates from pre-Columbian times but their use is probably as prevalent today as it was in the past, for man's desire to control those forces beyond his immediate power has not lessened.
Of the Pueblo tribes the Zuni have the reputation for being the most skillful at carving fetishes. The Zunis are looked to as a source for personal charms & amulets by members of other tribes. Concretions, plant or animal material, and of course carvings in shell, stone or wood can all be used as fetishes but their purpose remains the same, to...
Zuni Fetish Gallery on Facebook