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Fetish & Art

A fetish is an object, natural or man made, in which a spirit is thought to reside and which can be used to affect either good or evil. (see the book “The Fetish Carvers of Zuni” pg. 15) Fetishes have been carved out of stone and shell since prehistoric times and were always very simply done. It has been in about the last 80 years that fetishes were more realistically carved.

The most famous of those early carvers were Leekya Deyuse and Teddy Weahkee. Their descendants have carried on their fine tradition of carving and many other families of excellent carvers are now creating wonderful fetishes. The Zunis and those who buy fetishes continue to use them for many purposes. It is believed that a bear, especially a white bear is very powerful as a healing tool.

A hunting fetish such as a mountain lion might be carried to help a hunter to catch game. It is believed that a frog can be used for fertility and to invite rain. Hoel’s Indian Shop will always select and sell unusual Zuni fetishes and will continue to update our website as new fetishes are purchased.

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