According to ancient Native American Indian beliefs, stone animal fetishes were thought to be a source of aid to a particular person, family or tribe in a time of need. The shape of carved stone animal fetishes often determined the kind of aid a fetish would provide.
The Six Guardian Fetishes of the Isleta Pueblo
The Isleta Pueblo Indians have six Guardian Fetishes who were commanded by the Great Spirit to protect their people. Each Guardian Fetish’s power was to be taught by one of the clans. These same animal fetishes have similar associations and powers among other Pueblo peoples.
|Stone Animal Fetish||Isleta Belief||Other Associations|
|Mountain Lion||Leads from the North|
Mountain Lion clan teaches cunning and resourcefulness.
|Bear||Guides from the West|
Bear clan teaches the power of our physical bodies and strength of our souls.
|Bob cat||Comes from the South|
Bob cat clan teaches attentiveness to the wind for safe passage.
|Wolf||Ventures from the East|
Wolf clan teaches love and respect (for elders) as a wolf cub offers its parents upon their arrival to the den after hunting.
|Eagle||Covers from the sky|
Eagle clan teaches constant awareness of our surroundings.
|Mole||Brings up to the earth’s surface|
Mole clan teaches a sense of direction, even in complete darkness
Common Meanings of Carved Stone Animal Fetishes
There are countless other carved stone animal fetishes, and their specific powers and associations vary among Pueblo peoples. The majority of these Native American fetishes take the shape of animals of prey who are revered among Native Americans for their strong hearts and for being powerful providers among their own kind:
- Badger: Aggressive and persistent, a healer. Badger is the Zuni protector of the South, associated with red.
- Cornmaiden: Bringer of life, represents potential
- Deer: Gentleness
- Frog: Bringer of rain, fertility and abundance
- Hummingbird: Messenger, stopper of time
- Lizard: Agile, good at conversation
- Owl: Protector of the home, has true wisdom and sees what others cannot
- Parrot: Symbol of the sun; its colorful plumage is reminiscent of the rainbow
- Snake: Represents life, death and rebirth
These same animals are often used as motifs and designs in Native American pottery.
Carved Stone Animal Fetishes at Palms Trading Company
Palms Trading Company carries an excellent selection of Native American Indian carved stone fetishes from the Zuni, Isleta, and Navajo Pueblos. These fetishes are hand-carved from various gemstones or animal antlers. We buy each fetish directly from the artist, so it is guaranteed authentic Native American Indian art.