Stacked Fetish Necklace – is it authentic Native American made?

I just bought a stacked fetish necklace the other day and was wondering how I could figure out if it authentic or not. All the shop owner could tell me that it was Zuni but had no info on the artist or materials used so I was a little hesitant to purchase it but it it was so gorgeous I had to! Any help would be appreciated!! Thanks


necklace0 necklace1 necklace2Hi Jaya,

Fetish necklaces are carved by both Zuni and Navajo carvers. I’ve found that authentic Zuni made fetish necklaces are about 5 times the price of a similar one made by a Navajo carver.

There are also many fetish necklaces that are NOT Native American made, most from outside the US.

The time to find out about an item of Native American jewelry is at the time of purchase. If you purchase directly from the artist, you have the opportunity to ask about materials and why the artist uses a particular animal as the pendant drop for example.

If you are buying from a merchant who says “This is Zuni, but I don’t know who made it” my first reaction is “Then how do you know it is Zuni and where did YOU get it ? Apparently not from the artist directly.

Especially with a Zuni necklace which would be quite costly, the seller should know the maker.  If this was a vintage piece, I could see where the seller might not know who made the piece, but yours looks very contemporary.

To ask me, after the fact, from a photo, if it is authentic, well, I am just going to give you my initial reaction.

You don’t show the whole necklace but I assume that is a squaw wrap treatment – that is a plus.

But the animals themselves, I don’t  recognize that style and it certainly doesn’t look like Zuni work.

I could be mistaken but I suspect this might be a non-Native American made necklace.

Use this quick way to search on eBay which may or may not tell you more. In the search box, type “stacked fetish necklace” then when the search results come up, over to the right you’ll see the word “Advanced”. Click on that and then click on “Sold listings” under the Search Including category. Then click the Search button. That will populate a list with photos you can look at to compare to your necklace and you will see what each sold for.

I hope others that read the blog might chime in !!

You can browse our fetish necklace section; the majority of ours are by Navajo carvers.



9 thoughts on “Stacked Fetish Necklace – is it authentic Native American made?

  1. Just a suggestion–if the shop owner won’t take it back, I would complain to your credit card company, if you used one to purchase this.

  2. This might be a set of carvings from M & M Trading Co in Gallup. They hire mostly Santo Domingo & Navajo carvers and use many of the same stones and shells used in the necklace Jaya shows. Their carvings often have the matte finish seen here on some carvings.
    Most of the import necklaces from the Phillippines use imitation “block” turquoise while the turquoise carvings in Jaya’s necklace look to be stabilized turquoise. (Real turquoise enhanced with resin to harden and darken it.)

  3. I would like to find out how to ask a question of this site. I have a fabulous stacked fetish charm necklace that has been donated for a charity auction. NOTHING on line compares to the quality of this necklace. I am trying to find a value to know where to start the bidding.

  4. Pingback: Authentic Native American Indian Fetish Necklaces | Native American Jewelry Tips

  5. We had a few very detailed stacked fetishes back in the 1970’s, with the fetishes graduated in size, with natural stones, sold for around $1,000. I wish I could recall who made them!. This was before they started copying them overseas. Many of the imports seem to have more angular carvings..

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