May 13, 2014
Thanks for asking to see photos of the necklace. I paid $90 for it and am trying to find out if is Native American made.
Thanks for your time. I know you get a lot of requests, and I enjoy looking through your website.
It is a very pretty necklace in very good condition. The photos are great.
The hand made clasp seems like a very familiar style I have seen on vintage necklaces or contemporary hand made necklaces.
The shell heishi is done very nicely.
The birds and the stones used for the birds, I’m not so sure about. The birds look so very similar to each other as to almost appear to be production made. And some of the stones I can’t identify. For example, the red birds do not appear to be made of coral or orange spiny oyster, two typically used materials in Native American made fetish necklaces.
As far as whether this is Native American carved, my gut feeling is no.
It could be Native strung from components that could have been made in the US or other places such as the Philippines.
I wish I could be of more help. Paula
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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
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.
Perhaps you can help out a fetish newbie. A few weeks back I bought from your website a black bear pendant and a leather necklace to put it on.
I’ve found the loop on the bear is too small to fit over the clasp on the necklace. I don’t want to return either one, but any suggestions? Should I take it to a jeweler? Try to flatten the loop to make it a little bigger? I sure don’t want to damage it. Or perhaps buy a different chain? How would I know that one would fit? I plan to eventually make a necklace of several fetishes that have special meaning for me, and I guess I need some help before I start.
I would appreciate any directions or suggestions you could give me.
Thanking you in advance,
First of all, any time your purchase something from us, feel free to ask ahead of time if a certain bead necklace, for example, will go through the bail of a pendant you are looking at. We can always check that out for you. For most pendants and necklaces we list the size of the bail on the pendant and the diameter (or thickness) of the necklace so you can get a pretty good idea.
The pendant you purchased was shown with a sterling silver round omega which would work very well with it as would most chains.
Also we have some very small, 5mm, antiqued beads that could work.
And yes, you could take your bear pendant to a jeweler who could gently heat and open up or otherwise reshape the heavy wire loop.
There is a term associated with fetish necklaces – stacked.
That refers to fetishes strung one right on the top of one another rather than separated by a length of heishi. If heishi is used, it can be pen shell, olive shell, white clam shell, turquoise, jet or other.
Here are some examples of the various heishi that is used in between fetishes.
Here is an example of a “semi-stacked” fetish necklace, that is, one that has just a small amount of heishi in between each fetish.
Here are some examples of true stacked fetish necklaces, those that are fetish on fetish.
Every artist has his or her own vision of what a fetish necklace should look like:
the size of the fetishes
the style of the fetishes
the stones and shells used for the fetishes
the stones and shells used for the heishi
the space between the fetishes
the type of closure (more on that in tomorrow’s post).