Native American Stone Fetish Carvings
The Zuni define their world in terms of directions with their home and village and its inhabitants at the center of the world. Therefore, they have six directions, the four cardinal directions (North, South, East West) and the Upper and Lower Dimensions.
Each region has its own guardian and often fetishes representing the six directions are placed in the home as a group or set.
Some Zuni artists carve all six fetishes out of one piece of stone – this is a very rare Six Directions set.
Another approach is to carve one fetish, say the badger, larger and then to tie the other five fetishes, carved in a smaller scale, to the badger.
A more common group is a display of the six fetishes, all in the same scale, on a natural setting such as one made with rocks and wood.
Various animals represent certain powers.
- Mountain Lion – Leadership, Protection for Travelers and Success for Hunters
- Bear – Soul Strength, Power from Within, Introspection, Healing
- Badger – Aggressiveness, Perseverance
- Wolf – Teacher, Pathfinder, Clarity, Survival
- Eagle – Spirit, Vision, Truth, a link to the Great Spirit
- Mole – The Protector of the Underworld and Crops, Awareness, Introspection
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