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.

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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.
  • Yellow (Zuni)
Bear Guides from the West
Bear clan teaches the power of our physical bodies and strength of our souls.
  • Blue (Zuni)
  • Strength
  • Introspection
  • Healing
  • Spiritual journey
Bob cat Comes from the South
Bob cat clan teaches attentiveness to the wind for safe passage.
  • Clairvoyant, knows secrets
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.
  • White (Zuni)
  • The hunt
  • Finding a path
  • Learning
Eagle Covers from the sky
Eagle clan teaches constant awareness of our surroundings.
  • Zepath—the upper realm (Zuni)
  • Integrity
  • Soaring spirit
Mole Brings up to the earth’s surface
Mole clan teaches a sense of direction, even in complete darkness
  • Nadir—inner earth, black (Zuni)

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.

If you are looking for a particular stone or animal but don’t see it online, please contact us to use our personal shopper service.