Fetish Statues

Many years ago, the Zuni people came up to this Earth from the underworld at a place that is identified as either the Grand Canyon or the Mojave Desert. They call the area where they live as the center or middle place.

The Zuni are thought to be direct descendants of the Anasazi. While many anthropologists believe that the Zuni are related to the other pueblo tribes that are scattered throughout the Southwest, they are unique in that their language, to this day, is only spoken by them and bears no resemblance to the languages of any of the other surrounding tribes. Their language is often called Zunian.

According to Zuni cosmology, everything in the universe from natural forces such as lighting, wind, or great droughts, to physical entities, such as rocks, animals, rivers, and human beings has its own spirit. Each of these spirits has the power to observe, think, and respond to humankind. An inanimate object, such as a rock or a lump of dirt, is believed to possess a spirit similar to that of a hibernating bear or a seed that has not yet been planted. The power is simply dormant, for the moment.

The Zuni, or A:Shiwi, whose Pueblo is in the northwest corner of New Mexico, are renowned for their fetishes, primarily of animals. Fetishes are objects to be venerated for their powers to protect, heal and overcome. The traits in these animals are often ones we can summon, or aspire to in ourselves. Ceremonial fetishes that carry the blessings of a medicine man are imbued with mystical powers. They are never sold, but talisman carvings of them are.  Please enjoy!