Zuni Fetish Animal Carving

Black Marble Bear by Ephran Chavez (initials on the base) 

Ephran has work featured in both of Kent McManis's books on Zuni carvings

A very tactile piece with silver eyes and a double silver heart line.

The bear is the Guardian of the Western direction and is associated with strength, power, healing and self-knowledge. 

Black Marble is a cleansing stone that is beneficial for the blood, skin, and cleansing systems. Provides clarity in both meditation and tantric activities plus  self-control and mastery of thought. Enhances serenity and provides good common sense in matters of the home, heart and health.

The heart line represents the pathway of the breath to the heart, the animals life force. 

It is thought that a heart line makes a fetish a more powerful tool.

L 40 mm

H 30 mm

W 10 mm

All our Zuni fetish animal carvings come with a certificate of authenticity

Zuni Fetish Animal Carvings 

Many First Nation tribes produce and use fetishes but the most well-known 

(and possibly the most skilled) are the Zuni - one of the largest South Western Pueblo tribes of New Mexico.

Traditionally fetishes are used for many purposes as talismans, in healing and shamanic ceremonies. Having a fetish blessed is believed to make it more powerful and a 'true' fetish. 

They are used as talismans, in healing & shamanic ceremonies, as protection and for attracting abundance and fertility. The Zuni believe that the animal's powers are present within their fetish. 

A fetish can represent anything its owner wishes it to and can be carried in a medicine pouch or housed in 

a traditional 'fetish bowl' within the home.

 They are ceremonially 'fed' with blue cornmeal or crushed turquoise. 

While there are many different materials now used including antler, horn, bone, glass, amber and shell, there are  certain stones that are traditionally most often used for carving fetishes: Picasso marble, jet, alabaster, pipestone, serpentine, black marble, turquoise and dolomite being most common. 

But any stone might be used if it the carver can visualise the animal spirit it contains.

There are several particularly well known Zuni families of carvers. The ones we are most familiar with are: the Quandelacys, the Quams, the Eriachos, the Boone, Lonasee and Chavaz families - there are many more.

Marble Bear by Ephran Chavez


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