Zuni fetishes have become increasingly popular in recent years in the United States. Fetish necklaces are necklaces consisting of individual Zuni fetishes strung together. They can be made from a variety of materials including turquoise, coral, spiny oyster, and other stones.
If you’re interested in Zuni fetish necklaces, you may be interested to learn more about what makes them unique and the steps you can take to make sure you’re getting the real thing. In this collector’s guide, we’ll dive into the fascinating world of Zuni fetish necklaces and try to answer questions you may have about this beautiful tradition.
What is Zuni Turquoise?
The Zuni tribe of New Mexico is known for creating intricate and beautiful jewelry using traditional methods of working with silver and stone. Zuni fetishes are carved from soft, colorful stones, and then strung together in unique patterns and designs. Turquoise, in particular, has become a signature stone for the Zuni people. The Zuni people believe that turquoise represents life energy and good health. It is found in many of their traditional pieces.
How Can You Tell if a Zuni Fetish Necklace is Authentic?
When shopping for a Zuni fetish necklace, it’s important to understand that there are many imitation pieces out there. There are several things you can look for to ensure you’re getting an authentic piece. The first thing one would traditionally look for on Native American jewelry is a hallmark. A hallmark will usually be the artist’s initials or name, followed by a tribal name. This hallmark means that the artist is a member of a Native American tribe. However, this is not the case with fetish necklaces. In some cases, the artist might sign the cones, but in many cases you have to identify the necklace by the style of carving. You should also look for the use of materials, such as natural turquoise and other stones like coral, spiny oyster, and shell. Pay attention to the eyes on the fetishes. Lastly, note the construction of the piece, look for the tiny shell separators between the fetishes, and for the overall balance or aesthetics of the necklace.
The Cultural Significance of Zuni Fetish Necklaces
Zuni fetish necklaces are not just beautiful pieces of art—they are deeply significant in Zuni culture. The fetishes themselves are believed to hold special powers or characteristics, such as healing, protection, or good fortune. When the fetishes are strung together in a necklace, they bring together these powers into one piece, creating a meaningful object. The process of carving the fetishes and stringing them together is also a spiritual practice for the Zuni people, who often imbue the piece with their own prayers and blessings.
Collecting Zuni Fetish Necklaces
Collecting Zuni fetish necklaces allows you to appreciate the beautiful artistry and cultural significance of these pieces. As with any collector’s item, it’s important to do your research to ensure that you’re getting an authentic piece.
If you’re new to Zuni fetish necklaces and don’t know where to start, take a look at the selection available in our online shop. We welcome your visit to our shop in Sedona, Arizona which has more jewelry than we can possibly list on the website.