A Native American fetish is a stone or shell carving, usually in the image of an animal. Native American fetish necklaces use small fetishes that are drilled and strung like beads with fine shell, turquoise or jet heishi in between.
Ramirez - Navajo
Thunderbird, medicine bear, songbird, rabbit, fox, wolf, mountain lion.
Sterling silver clasp.
What is a Fetish?
A fetish is a rock carving of an animal that captures the spirit and the essence of the animal, not necessarily its exact detailed conformation. Indian fetishes can be carried or displayed. Those that are carried are often called pocket fetishes. Those that are displayed are called table fetishes. Zuni artists are the traditional fetish carvers but there are many talented Navajo carvers as well. The animals can vary but often include birds, bears, horses, mountain lions, turtles, foxes, wolves and many others. The stones usually used include turquoise, mother of pearl, pink shell, acoma jet, serpentine, pipestone and many others. Read more about fetishes.
Peyote Bird, Water Bird or Thunderbird?
The Water Bird is a symbol of the renewal of life, rainy seasons, rivers, distant travel, distant vision & wisdom. It is often also referred to as the Peyote Bird because the Water Bird plays a significant part in the Native American Indian Church Peyote meetings and, in fact, since the early 1900's has been the symbol of the NAC.
The Peyote/Water Bird is not a Southwest tradition,
but one of the Plains Indians. The Peyote Bird is connected with lightning,
thunder and visions. Those who dream of the thunder beings will become Heyokas,
those who do things backwards, upside down, or opposite. This is a Lakota
way of being. It is part of the medicine of the Heyoka to remind us that we should
not take ourselves too seriously - that's why Heyoka is often translated as the