Zuni and Navajo Carvers and Mountain Lion Tails

Native American stone fetish carvers tend to do mountain lion tails in one of 3 ways. Which is your favorite and what do you think the lion’s body language is saying?

Up and curled – I think friendly and curious

Mountain Lion Fetish by Zuni carver Fernando Laiwakete

Down and curled -Looks like sneaking and ready to pounce

Mountain Lion fetish by Navajo carver Alex Begay

Laid along the back – Intense concentration

Native American Fetish Necklace – Mother or Grandmother Necklace

The Quandelacy family of the Zuni pueblo has a tradition called the Grandmother Necklace which is a fetish necklace made of birds and animals – one animal carved by each member of the family and presented to Grandmother or Mother.

How big is your family? Or your extended family?

Raven Fetish Necklace

Raven Fetish Necklace

Horse Fetish Necklace

Horse Fetish Necklace

Hummingbird Fetish Necklace

Hummingbird Fetish Necklace

Mixed Animal Fetish Necklace

Mixed Animal Fetish Necklace

3 Strand Fetish Necklace

3 Strand Fetish Necklace

10 Strand Fetish Necklace

10 Strand Fetish Necklace

Native American Stone Fetish Carvings – Six Directions

Native American Stone Fetish Carvings

Six Directions

©  2010 Horsekeeping © Copyright Information

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.

Zuni Six Directions Animal Fetish carvings

Zuni Six Directions Animal Fetish carvings

Each region has its own guardian and often fetishes representing the six directions are placed in the home as a group or set.

Zuni Jet Mountain Lion Fetish Carving by Fabian Pino

Zuni Jet Mountain Lion Fetish Carving by Fabian Pino

The mountain lion represents the North.
Zuni Wolf Fetish Carving by Terrence and Jessica Martza

Zuni Wolf Fetish Carving by Terrence and Jessica Martza

The wolf represents the East.
Zuni Badger Fetish Carving by Adrian Cachini

Zuni Badger Fetish Carving by Adrian Cachini

The badger represents the South.

Zuni Bear Fetish Carving by Emery Eriacho

Zuni Bear Fetish Carving by Emery Eriacho

The bear represents the West.

Zuni Mole Fetish Carving by Ephran Chavez

Zuni Mole Fetish Carving by Ephran Chavez

The mole represents the Lower Dimension or the Earth.

Navajo Eagle Fetish Carving by David Yazzie

Navajo Eagle Fetish Carving by David Yazzie

The eagle represents the Upper Dimension or the Sky.

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

For more information

Zuni Stone Fetish Carving Native American

Zuni Stone Fetish Carving Native American

Animal Fetish Powers

Animal Powers

©  2010 Horsekeeping © Copyright Information

Various animals and figures are used for particular purposes as they represent certain powers.

Zuni Eagle Fetish Carving
Eagle
Spirit, Vision, Truth, a link to the Great Spirit
Zuni Bear Fetish Carving
Bear
Soul Strength, Power from Within, Introspection, Healing.
Zuni Mountain Lion Fetish Carving
Wolf – Teacher, Pathfinder, Clarity, Survival
Zuni  Buffalo Fetish Carving
Mountain Lion – Leadership, Protection for Travelers and Success for Hunters
Zuni  Badger Fetish Carving
Badger – Aggressiveness, Perseverance
Zuni  Badger Fetish Carving
Mole – The Protector of the Underworld and Crops, Awareness, Introspection
Zuni  horse Fetish Carving
Horse – Power of Healing, Strength, Partnership
Zuni  Snake Fetish Carving
Snake – Transmutation: Life, Death, Rebirth; also very connected to lightning and important in Zuni ceremonies
Zuni  Turtle Fetish Carving
Corn Maiden – Strength, wisdom, creation – Life itself
Zuni  Turtle Fetish Carving
Butterfly – Beauty, Transformation, Change
Zuni  Turtle Fetish Carving
Turtle – Longevity, Tenacity, Oldest symbol of Mother Earth
Zuni  Coyote Fetish Carving
Coyote – Master Trickster, Laughter, Humor, Foolishness
Zuni  Buffalo Fetish Carving
Rabbit – Gentleness, Innocence, Virtue, Serenity, Fertility
Zuni  Buffalo Fetish Carving
Buffalo – Prophecy and Fulfillment
Zuni  Beaver Fetish Carving
Beaver – Diligence, Family Unity
Zuni  Fox Fetish Carving
Fox – Camouflage, Clever, Loyal
Zuni  Buffalo Fetish Carving
Owl – Guardian and protector of the Home, True Wisdom, Ability to see what others cannot
Zuni  Buffalo Fetish Carving
Frog – Invokes the spirits to bring Rain, Luck and Fertility
Deer – Grace, Agility and Speed
Zuni  Buffalo Fetish Carving
Otter – Female side, Laughter, Curiosity
Dog – Loyalty, True Friend
Zuni  Buffalo Fetish Carving
Raven – Magic, Mystery, Shift in Consciousness
Mouse – Scrutiny, Attention to detail
Squirrel – Gathering, Planning
Zuni  Bobcat Fetish Carving
Bobcat (Lynx) – Clairvoyance, Secret-Keeper
Spider – Creativity