In order to create stone fetishes, Native American Indian artists must use stones soft enough to shape with manual tools but hard enough not to crumble during the carving or etching process.
Common Stones for Carving
Because there are a limited number of gemstones with just the right balance between softness and hardness, Native American Indian carved stone fetishes are commonly made of:
- Picasso marble
The natural variations in chemical composition and resulting color of many of these stones may add the appearance of texture and often enhances the uniqueness of the carved stone animal or figure.
Native American Indian carved stone fetishes made from rarer (sometimes more expensive) stones like white marble, amber or animal (deer or elk) antler often become collectibles.
Stones Properties Used for Fetishes and Sculptures
Most Native American Indian artists believe that the shape of stone fetishes “organically” arises from the stone. The natural shape of the uncarved stone suggests the spirit of the animal or figure whose power the fetish will make accessible.
The power of the animal or figure may be enhanced by the energetic properties of some stones used for Native American Indian fetishes:
- Amber (usually clear yellow) is good for intellectual focus and cleaning or energizing.
- Malachite (dark green with white lines) encourages tolerance, flexibility and patience.
- Onyx (also called jet) calms excess feminine energy and provides stability and security.
- Turquoise (all shades of blue and green) is associated with wisdom, strength, protection and positive thinking.
How an artist acquired a stone or antler or the process of carving also adds history to carved stone fetishes, and may become the reason for some pieces to be considered genuine collectibles.
Authentic Native American Indian Art
Palms Trading Company carries a large selection of all types of Native American Indian art, including carved stone fetishes from Isleta, Navajo and Zuni artists. Each piece is bought directly from the artist, so it is guaranteed authentic. If you would like to see more stone fetishes or collectibles from our larger in-store collection, our personal shopper can help! Contact us to get started.