Paula says - "Navajo fetish maker Harold Davidson creates unique animals. Each of his pieces captures the essence of the animal spirit displaying character and his signature details. He decorates each piece with radiant colored feathers attached by colorful glass seed beads. His masterful etching of the stone provides a striking contrast. Each fetish is signed and dated. Caution: If you buy one, others will follow!"
Navajo Churro Sheep and Angora Goats
Sheep and goats have been an important part of Navajo life since the 1500s. Native Americans got their first sheep from the Spaniards and sheep have since become a main source of negotiable wealth. Herds are kept on remote parts of the reservation. Herding is an all-year-round occupation and groups of men take turns watching the sheep. Sheep fetish carvings represent charity, patience, gentleness and riches. Read more . . .
A Short History on Navajo-Churro Sheep
Diné philosophy, spirituality, and sheep are intertwined like wool in the strongest weaving. Sheep symbolize the Good Life, living in harmony and balance on the land. Before they acquired domesticated sheep on this continent, Diné held the Idea of sheep in their collective memory for thousands of years. Read more . . .
The Oldest Domesticated Livestock in the United States: Navajo-Churro
The Churro were brought to America from Spain by Francisco Coronado in 1540. The sheep were bred largely for food for the explorers and the missionaries who followed them throughout the region that is now Mexico and the southwestern United States. By 1807 a single flock of Spanish sheep could number 20,000. Read more . . .
Navajo Cultural Adoption of Sheep and Weaving
The action of Navajo men presenting the sheep to Navajo women was reflective of the central role of women in Navajo society. At some point in time, Navajo society evolved into a matrilineal society, with descent and inheritance determined through the mother. Navajo women have traditionally owned the bulk of resources and property, such as livestock. Getting the sheep was the first step. The second step was learning how to weave using the sheep's wool.
About the Artist - Harold Davidson
1987 Harold began helping a Jemez carver by the name of Marvin Toya. In 1991 he began selling his own work at art shows and to galleries in Flagstaff and Sedona, Arizona. Harold gets ideas for his art through meditation and works on projects full time, often 14 hours a day most weeks. Today Harold lives close to Gallup, N.M., and continues to sell his work at shows and to galleries.
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 turquoise, jet and coral.
What is a Medicine Bundle?
Many fetishes have a medicine bundle, offering bundle, or adornment tied onto the animal that consists of coral seed beads, shell heishi, feathers and other stone pieces. The bundle may be an offering to the fetish, to used evoke the spirit of the fetish or to increase the strength of a fetish.
Fetishes and Carvings
5 - Types of Fetishes