Eyes and heart line of inlaid turquoise.
Etched details include mane, tail, nostrils, a hand on the shoulder and circles on the hips.
What is an Animal Fetish?
fetish is a carving of an animal that captures the spirit and the essence of the
animal, not necessarily its exact detailed conformation. Fetishes are carved from
many types of stone, wood, antler, shell and other materials. Often the eyes and
spots of adornment, called power spots, inset pieces of contrasting stones such
as double Horse Fetish Carving of fishrock and turquoise, jet and coral.
About the Spirit of the Horse
The Horse Spirit inspires our dreams, awakens passion, carries us far and fast, and brings us close to our instinctual and authentic nature. Horse enables us to move beyond our limitations and run freely. Spirit or Medicine Horses were and are extremely helpful in guidance, healing, protection and ceremony. Horse represents wisdom, physical power and unearthly power. Horse enables healers to travel in Spirit energy, using Horse to help guide them to the answer. Horses are symbols that can express our magical side. Horses are also known as symbols of freedom and independence.
What Does a Heart Line Represent?
The heart line is a line etched, painted or inlaid along one or both sides of the animal. It usually extends from the mouth to the region of the heart. There are many interpretations as to what a heart line represents, but it is often said to represent the pathway of the breath of the animal to the life force which is the heart. Others feel that the heart line points to the soul of the animal. It is thought that a heart line gives the fetish healing or medicinal power.
The Hand Symbolism
In Native American art, the hand usually represents the presence of man. From the earliest hand imprints on cave walls, the hand depicts a man's work, achievements and his personal history.
When a hand had a swirl in the middle of it, that is said to be the "eye in hand" and represents a mystic, or all-seeing, hand, the presence of the Great Spirit in man.
A Native American's horse was highly honored and often covered in symbols for various purposes. This would vary from tribe to tribe but hand prints were often used in various positions on a horse to mean different things.
The most prized handprint was when preparing for battle, if it was a kill-or-be-killed mission, an upside-down hand would be placed on the warrior's horse.
If a horse knocked down an enemy, right and left hand prints were put on the horse's chest.
The Pat Hand Print was the left hand pressed onto the horse's right hindquarters. It was put on a horse who had returned from a dangerous mission with his master unharmed.
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