Steeped in history and significance, Zuni fetishes are presumed to boast magical powers that ward off evil, safeguard the mind and body, and protect against universal plights. It’s for this reason that American Indians regard fetishes with paramount importance. To properly honor fetishes the Zuni house them in sacred pots and pouches and sometimes adorn them with feathers, turquoise, and arrowheads to preserve their sanctity. Though sacred fetishes aren’t commercially sold, you’ll find the meaning of some of the most popular Zuni fetishes below, ranging from the snake fetish to the beaver fetish.
The armadillo is slow and steady, and he always wins the race. He is nothing if not efficient.
Often associated with husbandry and architecture, the badger is revered as determined, passionate, and wise.
Simply put, the bat watches over the evening hours. In other words, he’s the guardian of the night.
The bear is symbolic of inner strength, reflection, and life’s ever-rewarding spiritual journey.
The beaver is thorough, persistent, and family-oriented. He stops at nothing to fulfill his goals.
A beautiful representation of transformation, the butterfly inspires us to change.
As gentle as it is loyal, the deer represents a genuine companion.
Friendly and trustworthy, the dolphin embodies the loving spirit of friendship.
The eagle has a coveted connection to the great divine, making it a highly intuitive fetish.
With its ability to conceal its thoughts and emotions, the fish is assumed to be enigmatic but also pure.
The hawk urges us to recognize the obvious parts of who we are and what we do.
A symbol of power and healing, the horse is enlightened and unstoppable.
Regarded as the protector of the underworld and growing crops, the mole is a preserver through and through.
Steadfast in all that it does, the moose is a force to be reckoned with.
Not surprisingly, the mountain lion is an innate leader, and it values respect over intimidation.
A beacon of light and laughter, the otter reminds us to revel in carefree mischief.
The owl is wildly perceptive, which is why it’s inherently wise but also deceptive.
Both confident and attractive, the pheasant turns heads. Its flamboyance gives the pheasant even more appeal.
The porcupine promotes faith and trust and, in turn, reminds us of the power of these qualities.
The Zuni snake fetish refers to life, death, and revival, which is why it plays a prominent role in Zuni ceremonies.
The spider illustrates the intricate, creative, and exciting patterns that we weave in this life.
Emblematic of Mother Earth, the turtle is a respected figure that embodies longevity.