spirit animals . . .
If you believe in the Spirit World and that there are affinities between humans and animals, then Zuni fetish carvings are a wonderful way to reinforce and celebrate these connections.
One year, members of my family found animals in the toe of their Christmas stockings. Some were handmade pottery and a couple were carved fetishes: a den of wolves, a pair of loons with spots on their backs, a wonderful bear fetish, a raven and a tortoise carved from jet with turquoise eyes.
Anyhow, I had almost forgotten about them until I came upon a Zuni buffalo carving this morning. The buffalo is revered in Native American culture because of its contributions to the sustainability of life, sheltering humans with their hides and skins plus providing nourishment with their flesh.
The description on this buffalo carving said:
“This beautiful Picasso marble and turquoise buffalo fetish was handmade by Stewart Alonzo. The buffalo’s body is carved from Picasso marble, the eyes. the tip of the tail & spirit line are turquoise inlay and the offering is a dark shell arrowhead with turquoise & red coral beads.
The buffalo represents endurance to over come, great emotional courage, provider to all.
American Indians have used fetishes throughout history, especially the Southwestern Indians. A fetish is considered to have magical powers.”
A second carving caught my eye, due to the coloration of the stone. It was a bear, one of Mother Nature’s strong animal totems. Here’s an excerpt from the description:
“This wild horse stone & turquoise bear fetish was handmade by renowned Zuni Indian artist Emery Eriacho. The beautiful wild horse stone bear is composed of a lapis arrowhead with turquoise & shell beads. The bear represents strength, healing, introspection and the spiritual journey. “WEST”
It’s a peaceful Sunday morning here in New England as I compose this post. There’s a slight breeze, the air is dry and the sun is out. Seeing these Zuni carvings has enriched my spirit and calmed my soul. I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing them too.