Southwest tribal miniature carvings that some say are imbued with spirit forces. Indian fetishes are hand-carved objects, which represent the spirits of animals or the forces of nature. From the earliest times in North America, the Indians have used fetishes in an effort to master the arbitrary and unpredictable forces beyond their control. The earliest fetishes are called Ahlashiwe or stone ancients by the Zunis. They were naturally formed stones that seemed to resemble people or animals, sometimes made more realistic with the features accentuated by a carver. They are considered more powerful and were formerly thought to be ancient animals or people turned to stone.
Zuni Fetish Carvers
THE COLLECTOR’S GUIDE: INDIAN FETISHES
Zuni fetishes usually depict animals, especially their eyes, claws, teeth, heightened senses and connection with elemental forces. These carvings are meant to evoke animal spirits who are the messengers of the Creator. Our art is primarily organized by artist, but you can also browse by animal, carving material or price. When collecting, the cardinal rule is to purchase what speaks to you at some level. Collect carvings that move you and that you love. Discover the animals that make your heart sing.
Portrait Gallery of Artists Fetish Carvers. Abby Quam - Zuni. Arvella Cheama - Zuni.
Faye has picked out just the right turquoise stone. She begins to carve a frog fetish for us! Faye works her magic with the stone while Jake watches in awe. Faye drills out where the eyes will be inlaid.