I collect Native American fetishes. These are small carved items — sort of like charms or amulets — but more than that. Some of these carving are remarkably artistic. Tiny, yet perfect. Each fetish represents a particular kind of luck connected through the creature it represents.
This first gallery shows a bear, a badger, a wolf, a ram, a mountain lion, and a horse. I have more, including a turtle and an otter — and a double wolf made of two wolves tied together.
Fetishes are scarved using various materials. Stone, wood, antler are popular. I have a couple carved in turquoise and a few others made from marble. They originally served a ceremonial purpose, but collecting them has spread to many non-Natives — like me, for example.
Although the word “fetish” is also used to describe having some kind of sexual attraction to something which isn’t normally sexual in nature (like shoes), these fetishes depict animals and sometimes “humans.” I treat them with respect because they deserve it. I recently also got a few Kachinas, which are similar to a fetish, but more of a spirit representation.
This second galery are variations of Corn Maidens. In Zuni tradition, in long ago times, Corn-Maidens saved the Zunis from famine and drought by nourishing them with sacred corn kernels.
I have to admit that I have fallen in love with the Corn Maidens. They are elegant and so beautifully creative.