Zuni Fetishes

An animal fetish can be used as decoration and solely admired for its one of a kind artistry, however, there is also a much deeper meaning attached to these special creations. For several millennia Southwestern Native peoples have used fetishes. The earliest fetishes were stones that naturally formed into an animal or human shape. These stones were called Ahlashiwe, and were thought to be animals or humans turned into stone by the sons of the Sun Father. The spiritual essence of the animals and humans were believed to be present in the stone, thus making them an important source of power.

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