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wolf fetish

fetish

fetish

ZUNI FETISHES

The Zuni have traditionally used small stone carvings of animal figures as power objects and mediators between themselves and the spirit world. Any object, that has special meaning, can be used as a fetish. Fetishes or symbols can be held in the hand and express values and beliefs that have guided Indians decisions in their pursuit of physical, mental and spiritual well-being, the Zuni tribe being the most prolific in the use of festishes. As with all traditions, an in depth study would be required to understand the true meaning. We give here a brief insight as to some of the fetishes.

Traditionally each fetish must be ritualistically fed, often at the same time as the family would feed. Food, usually corn meal and sometimes mixed with crushed turquoise and shells, would be given to the fetish as if a family member. After about thirty minutes the remains of the food would normally be thrown into the river or buried, but never burnt since it was believed that the spirits of the departed live in the air and would be offended.

Fetishes are sometimes used in sets, usually consisting of three to seven figures in a clay jar. Traditionally if an owner wished to gain the favour of the spirits that lived within his or her fetishes then he or she would take great care of them, comfortably housing and feeding them within the pot.

We now give a few examples of fetishes and their considered spiritual benefits.

Mountain Lion
Personal power; territorialism; intuitive ability; steadfastness; bond with higher source; resourcefulness; loyalty and dedication; inner spirit.

Black Bear
Introspection; healing; solitude; change; strength in the face of adversity; introversion; management of transitions and communications between spirit and human.

Badger
Aggressiveness; single-mindedness; passion; control; antidote to passivity or victimization; persistence in the service of a mission; knowledge of the earth.

Extracts taken from the highly recommended Zuni Fetishes by Hal Zina Bennett, available to buy here

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Zuni fetish

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