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and Farlan Quam, Zuni
Zuni stone body with turquoise eyes.
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.
About the Symbol of the Snake
You'll probably never see snakes used in Navajo jewelry but they are often seen in Zuni jewelry.
The snake in some Native American tribes is considered to represent the same properties as lightning or the lightning arrow. They often have a similar visual form. The snake does not symbolize anything negative or treacherous. Rather, the snake represents abundant rainfall and fertility. Other tribes use the snake as a healing image or for swiftness in battle.
We here in Colorado live with snakes - they are part of the landscape and ecosystem. Since our climate is semi-arid, we welcome the abundant rainfall the snake might bring.
What is Zuni Stone?
Zuni stone, also called travertine, is a non-crystalline, porous rock found on the Zuni reservation. Travertine is a form of limestone (calcium carbonate) so in its pure form, it would be white, but most often travertine occurs in yellow, brown and gray hues due to the presence of other minerals.
Fetishes and Carvings
5 - Types of Fetishes