Zuni Fetish From Tribal Ornament Thru Tattoo Design

Zuni Fetish From Tribal Ornament Thru Tattoo Design

- in Tattoo History, Tattoo Meanings
Zuni Fetish

Zuni is a pueblo in New Mexico, near the Arizona border, and the source of an exciting and small sculptural item called a fetish. Although many groups in the American Southwest may have used fetishes, it is the Zuni who have achieved a reputation for producing finely carved examples. Native Americans believed that a spirit could reside in a fetish, a power that could be used for good or ill. That power was one that had to be cultivated. Zuni Fetish could belong to the tribe, a clan, and also to individuals who would ritually feed them and keep them in protected places.Zuni Fetish

Zuni fetishes have been used for many purposes like to enable hunters to catch a game, to make the game more plentiful, and also for curing ceremonies.  Fetishes or talismans may protect individuals.  The Zuni believe that animals are more like deities, and they’re more powerful than men.  The Zuni also believe that practical and spiritual power resides in their fetishes. The most famous of the animal forms are probably the Bear, which nearly resembles a crescent in profile. Lashed to its back with twine is sometimes an arrowhead or perhaps a tiny bundle of turquoise or coral, an offering to the animal spirit.

It is thought that the amount of care given to the fetish dictates the amount of protection it can offer the individual who owns it. The fetish should be treated with the care that the owner would like in return.

Carvings of these sorts were traditionally created by many indigenous people. Still, here in the southwestern United States, it is the Zuni people who have shared this aspect of their spiritual beliefs with outsiders and have developed an economical means of support for their members.

Zuni Fetish meanings:

To better understand what a Zuni fetish can indicate to a person, or why will a person decide to get a fetish or even put a Zuni fetish tattoo, here are the meanings of all the fetishes that are considered as traditional Zuni history.

  • Alligator fetish – Survival, stealth
  • Antelope fetish – Speed, grace, rapid advancement
  • Armadillo fetish – Slow, sure, gets things right, keeper of the home.
  • Badger fetish – Boldness, perseverance, individuality, healing- one of the six directional fetishes- South
  • Bat fetish – Guardian of the night, cleaner
  • Bear fetish – strength, introspection, self- knowledge, healing, lighten emotional burdens, power of the soul- one of the six directional fetishes- West
  • Beaver fetish – Builder, a strong sense of family & home, ability to work & attaining a sense of achievement, keeper of the waterways
  • Bee fetish – Service, gathering, community
  • Bird fetish – Unity, freedom, community
  • Buffalo fetish – Abundance, healing, good fortune, endurance to overcome, great emotional courage, provider to all
  • Butterfly fetish – Transformation, balance, grace, the ability to know or to change the mind
  • Coyote fetish – Laughter, humor, foolishness, trickiness, a reversal of fortune, a master trickster
  • Caribou fetish – Travel, mobility
  • Crow fetish – Council, wisdom, resourcefulness, the keeper of the sacred law
  • Deer fetish- Great power of gentleness, Sensitivity, Peace
  • Dog fetish – Loyalty, nobility, faithful & loyal friend
  • Dolphin fetish – Trust, loyalty, the spirit of friendship, joy, harmony, connection with self
  • Dragonfly fetish – Skill, refinement, relentlessness
  • Duck fetish – Spirit of those who has passed on
  • Eagle fetish – Creator, teacher, loyalty, high integrity, spirit connection to the divine, potency, healing, power, illumination- one of the six directional fetishes-Sky
  • Elk fetish – Pride, power, majesty, pacing for stamina
  • Feather fetish- spirit
  • Fish fetish – Purifier, character, ability to hide emotions
  • Fox fetish – Camouflage, protection, ingenuity, quickness, cleverness, subtlety, discretion, great passion
  • Frog fetish – Bringer of rain, abundance, fertility, cleansing, peace, emotional healing, silently warns of danger
  • Goat fetish – Tenacity, diligence
  • Goose fetish – Safe return, love of home
  • Hawk fetish – Messenger of the Gods, awareness, truth, to observe the obvious in what you do
  • Hedgehog fetish – Self- preservation
  • Horned toad fetish – Self-reliance, longevity, protects the ancestral bounty
  • Horse fetish – Swiftness, strength, enlightenment, healing, freedom, power, safe movement
  • Hummingbird fetish – Beauty, wonder, agility, messenger, stopper of time
  • Kokopelli fetish- Fertility, music, joy
  • Lizard fetish – Letting go, elusiveness, agility, conversation
  • Loon fetish – Communication, Serenity
  • Lynx fetish – Knower of secrets, clairvoyant ability
  • Mole fetish – Amplifies connection with the earth, protector of the crops- one of the six directional fetishes, Underground
  • Moose fetish- Headstrong, unstoppable, longevity, unpredictability
  • Mountain Lion fetish – Leadership, resourcefulness, courage, high standards, balance- one of the six directional fetishes- North
  • Mouse fetish – Illusion, charm, scrutiny, paying attention to detail
  • Otter fetish – Laughter, curiosity, mischievousness, joy, lightness
  • Owl fetish – Wisdom, vision, insight, deception, can see what others cannot
  • Pheasant fetish – Confidence, attraction, Flamboyance
  • Porcupine fetish – Power of faith & trust, innocence, humility
  • Quail fetish – Sacred spiral, ceremonial, holy, protectiveness, group harmony
  • Rabbit fetish – Virtue, serenity, quiet talent, passion, conquering fear, safety, special guardian of women in childbirth, safe birth, long life
  • Raccoon fetish – Bandit, shy, resourcefulness
  • Ram fetish – Sense of self-worth, assures an increase in flocks
  • Raven fetish – Magic, the messenger of the great mystery, a change in consciousness, exploration of the unknown
  • Salmon fetish – Determination, persistence
  • Sandpiper fetish – Quickness- foraging, scavenging
  • Seagull fetish – Carefree attitude, versatility, freedom
  • Seal fetish – Family oriented, contentment, possess power in numbers
  • Sheep fetish – Charity, elegance, passion, best at the arts, talents bring riches
  • Skunk fetish – Caution, warning, intense, conspicuous, wariness
  • Snail fetish- Perseverance, determination
  • Snake fetish – Power, life force, sexual potency, transmutation, death, rebirth
  • Spider fetish – Creative patterns of life, the web of life, interconnection, industry
  • Squirrel fetish – Natural intelligence, saver, protects reserves, trust, thrift
  • Swan fetish – Elegance, nurturing
  • Turkey fetish – Smart, elusive, festive
  • Turtle fetish – Longevity, fertility, protection, healing, knowledge, home, reliability, oldest symbol of mother earth
  • Whale fetish – Creativity, intuition
  • Wolf fetish – Teacher, pathfinder, sharing of your experience, loyalty,


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