Fetishes are animal carvings, traditionally part of Zuni ceramonial tradition, although many artists now come from other tribes. Each animal has a specific meaning. Traditionally they were used to invoke the spirit of that animal.  Often they have an arrow, either carved or inlaid, pointing from the mouth to the body, called the Heart Line, because although the animal is stone, it is believed to possess a real spirit.  If there is an arrowhead tied to its back with sinew or twine, it is a hunting fetish.  Any power the fetish possesses is imbued by its owner, not the other way around. The meanings of each animal are below.

 

Guardians of the Six Directions

Mountain Lion Guardian of the North: Leadership and resourcefulness, personal power.
Bear Guardian of the West: Strength, introspection, the power of the soul, healing, solitude and change
Badger Guardian of the South: Aggressiveness, perseverance, the antidote to passivity or victimisation
Wolf Guardian of the East: The Teacher; also the pathfinder on the journey of survival
Mole Guardian of the Lower Regions: Connection with the energies of the earth: the ability to look inwards
Eagle Guardian of the Upper Regions: Spirit, a connection with the divine

 

Other Animals

Beaver The Builder; a strong sense of family, home
Buffalo Endurance to overcome weakness
Coyote The Trickster; laughter and humour
Deer Gentleness
Fox Camouflage and protection
Frog To invoke the spirits to bring rain to drought areas
Horse Healing powers
Ram Secures an increase in flocks
Raven Healing powers
Snake Transmutation; life and death; rebirth
Turtle Longevity; also a symbol of Mother Earth