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Posted: December 17th. 2006 1:32:17 AM
NATIVE AMERICAN ANIMAL FETISHES
Age Group: Adult
Fetishes Handcrafted by Native Americans
American Indian Fetishes - Zuni & Hopi
Many American Indian tribes practice fetish carving although recently the art has been most often associated with the Zuni Indian fetish carvers. American Indian animal fetish carvings have been used over many years for a multitude of reasons, depending on the particular tribe. American Indian animal fetish carvings including Zuni Indian fetish carvings and Hopi Indian fetish carvings that represent virtually every trait such as power, strength, protection, guidance, humility, humor, endurance, leadership and many others. Animal fetish carvings represent the spirit of the animals and it is believed that if the fetish carver prays while carving the fetish, it will alleviate many of his problems.
Most current fetish carvings are primarily of animals, although some other symbols such as Kachinas (various Hopi and Pueblo Gods) and totems are sometimes carved. Todays American Indian fetish carvers use historic basic techniques as well as incorporating some of the newer technology. American Indian animal fetish carvings are normally done in a base material such as stone, antler, bone, horn, wood or shell. Some newer fetish carvings from Zuni fetish carvers, Hopi fetish carvers and others are done in more expensive stones such as selenite or fluorite. However most are done in the more traditional stones such as onyx, marble, turquoise, serpentine, sandstone, soapstone or alabaster.
Most fetish carvers make the simpler, more traditional forms of animals which may include such additions as a heart line or may come in pairs to represent a unity of souls.
There are traditionally six guardian or God fetishes for the six directions:
North Mountain Lion
Below (Inside Earth) Mole
Above (Heaven) Eagle
Each of these has younger brothers:
Below - Black
Some of the characteristics associated with various animal spirits are:
Armadillo Keeps the home, slow, sure, better accurate than quick
Badger Independent, may be sought out for healing based upon its knowledge of herbs
Bat Guardian of the night, cleaner
Bear Power, strength, able to evaluate current environment, introspection, spiritual journey through life
Beaver Power of working and attaining a sense of achievement, builder
Bobcat - See Lynx
Buffalo Endurance, rises above weakness, great emotional courage, rises above all
Butterfly The art of transformation, the ability to know or change the mind
Coyote Humor, master trickster who tricks himself, laughter, humor, foolishness
Corn Maiden Honored for nurturing her people with the flesh of her body, corn
Crow The keeper of sacred law
Deer The power of gentleness
Dog Loyalty, noble, a true and loyal friend
Dolphin Trust, loyalty, spirit of friendship
Duck Spirits of those who have passed on
Eagle Creator, teacher, loyalty, great integrity, connected to Heaven
Elk Teaches that pacing yourself will increase stamina
Fish Purifier, Character, ability to hide emotions
Fox Camouflage, ability to meld into ones surroundings and go unnoticed
Frog Bringer of rain, abundance and fertility
Hawk Messenger of the gods, to observe the obvious in everything you do
Horned Lizard Conservation of natural resources, self-reliant, longevity
Horse Healing, swiftness, strength, enlightenment
Hummingbird Messenger, stopper of time
Lizard Conversation, agility
Lynx The knower of secrets, clairvoyant
Mole Protector of growing crops and the underworld
Moose Headstrong, unstoppable, longevity
Mountain Lion (Cougar) Leader, resourceful, the power to lead without insisting that others follow
Mouse Scrutiny, paying attention to detail
Otter Laughter, curiosity, mischievous
Owl Can see what others can not, essence of true wisdom, deception
Parrot Symbolic to the sun, as rainbows are the product of rain and sunlight
Pheasant Confidence, attraction, flamboyance
Porcupine The power of faith and trust
Quail Sacred spirit, ceremonial, holy
Rabbit Virtue, serenity, low curiosity, quiet talent, restrained passion, the special guardian of women in child birth, safe birth, long life in children
Raccoon Bandit, shy, resourceful
Ram Sense of self worth, assures an increase in flocks
Raven Magic, the messenger of the great mystery, a change in consciousness
Seal Family oriented, possesses power in numbers
Sheep Charity, elegance, passion, best at the art, talent brings riches
Skunk Conspicuous, intense
Snake Life, death, rebirth, power of creation, of transmutation
Spider Creative patterns of live
Squirrel Natural intelligence, saver, protects reserves
Turkey Smart, elusive, festive
Turtle Oldest symbol of Mother Earth, longevity, the art of grounding
Wolf Teacher, pathfinder, sharing of your knowledge, never ending journey
As with all Native American Indian art, which particular fetish carvings a person wishes to purchase should be driven by their particular interest in the art itself, the animal, the characteristic or, in some cases, whether the carving was done by a Zuni fetish carver, a Hopi fetish carver, or one of the other Native American Indian fetish carvers.
Author's Notes: POSTED BY LADYK
SUNDAY DECEMBER 17TH, 2006
Author's Location: Washington, Washington DC
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