The word ‘fetish’ is a term used to describe an object that has a power greater than the object itself would normally possess. A carving would not normally be called a fetish unless a priest or shaman had blessed it. Once blessed the fetish could serve different religious or magical purposes. Most of the fetishes created today could more properly be called ‘carvings’ because they are art objects. But these carvings can become fetishes if they are properly blessed and used.
I have developed a relationship with an Indian trader in Flagstaff Arizona. He is helping me find a few authentic Native American fetishes that can channel a higher power into your Native American style flute and perhaps into your life. Most fetishes are made by the Zuni Indians of Northwestern New Mexico. Unlike most traditional Native American crafts, fetish making is thriving. Some of this work is outstanding. We look over hundreds of individual pieces to find a few examples that are suitable to put on your love flute. You can see that these fetishes are not a commercial product in the accepted sense of the term. They are made on Indian time with Heart. These fetishes are outstanding examples of indigenous art. You cannot experience their full power until you actually hold one in your hand. As a wise man said ‘a thing of beauty is a joy forever’.
I pay around $50 for each one. When you consider what the dollar is worth. When you realize the hours of work that went into each fetish. And, when you are aware that the Native American craftsman received half of what I paid. Then you will understand that these fetishes are incredible bargains. Money alone cannot measure their value. I would like to keep them all and start a collection. I would like to share these precious works of art with you if you if you want something truly unique and powerful to crown your Ancient Territories love flute.
If you have an interest or attraction to a particular fetish animal that you do not see here contact me. I may be able to locate one for you.
Each fetish is mounted on a hardwood base to fit an Ancient Territories style flute. The base is inlayed with a wet out prevention hydrophilic plastic.
Types Of Flute Fetishes
The Frog Fetish invokes the spirits to provide rain, cleansing and washing away negativity and silently warning of danger. The frog is associated with abundance and renewal.
The Turtle Fetish is a symbol of Longevity and Fertility. It is a symbol of Mother Earth, Home and Reliability. He goes slowly, with dignity. contemplating with an open spirit the world around him. The turtle does harm to no one. His presence brings joy and peace to the heart.
The Bear Fetish is a symbol of strength, courage, confidence and victory. The bear is also associated with harmony, balance and patience. It is a symbol of motherhood and introspection.
The Raven fetish transports souls out of the darkness into the light. The raven is a very clever and powerful bird who walks the edge of what is know.
The Snake is believed to have curative powers. It is associated with the never ending circle of life and death, eturnity and imortality.
The Coyote fetish is usually associated with hunting – the coyote being a clever and able hunter. The coyote is also super intelligent and can be a trickster, teaching us with his joke-wisdom.
The Eagle may be called upon to carry a shaman in flight once he has left his body. It also can carry messages to the higher powers in the sky and is a symbol of our connection to spirit. The eagle is far seeing and rides the spirit winds with courage and great personal power.
The Owl is sometimes thought to be a harbinger of death. They are also seen to be the guardian of the home or village – warning of approaching danger.
The Badger helps medicine men and shamans find and dig the roots and herbs they need for healing. The badger is an extremely strong and respected animal.
The Big Horn Sheep is a powerful and elusive animal. Game animal fetishes were used to get in touch with the spirit of the animal and to bring them close to the hunter.
The Mountain Lion is believed to protect travelers on their journey. The mountain lion is considered the elder brother of all the other protective and hunting animals.
I am indebted to Kent McManis and his wonderful book Zuni Fetishes and Carvings for some of the material I have used in this article. If you are interested in fetishes I highly recommend this book.