Fetishes and Carvings
© 2008 Cherry Hill
Zuni define their world in terms of directions with their home and village and
its inhabitants at the center of the world. Therefore, they have six directions,
the four cardinal directions (North, South, East West) and the Upper and Lower
region or direction has its own guardian and often fetish animals representing
each of the six directions are placed in the home as a group or set.
Mountain Lion represents the North.
Wolf represents the East.
Badger represents the South.
represents the West.
represents the Lower Dimension or the Earth.
Eagle represents the Upper Dimension or the Sky.
Zuni artists carve all six fetishes out of one piece of stone - this is
a very rare Six Directions set.
approach is to carve one fetish, say the badger, larger and then to tie the other
five fetishes, carved in a smaller scale, to the badger.
more common group is a display of the six fetishes, all in the same scale, on
a natural setting such as one made with rocks and wood.
animals represent certain powers..
Lion - leadership, protection for travelers and success for hunters
- teacher, pathfinder, clarity, survival
- aggressiveness, perseverance
- soul strength, power from within, introspection, healing
- protector of the underworld and crops, awareness, introspection
- spirit, vision, truth, a link to the Great Spirit