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Bear with Bundle Fetishes
Item #85144


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Guardian of the sacred west direction, these hand carved Bear with Bundle Fetishes symbolize the bear's gifts of strength, healing and power. The ALABASTER bear with genuine shell, turquoise and coral bundle represents the white bear, whose medicinal powers. The TAN and BLACK AND TAN bears are with genuine turquoise and coral bundles are fashioned from a kind of travertine (Zuni rock). Locally harvested and prepared by Zuni artisan Freddie Leekya, he carves each fetish as he was taught by his father, who in turn was taught by his father, renowned fetish artisan Leekya Deyuse. Hand carved from natural stones, each will be one of a kind.

Black and Tan
The Zuni, or A:Shiwi, whose pueblo is in the northwest corner of New Mexico are renowned for their fetishes, primarily of animals. Fetishes are objects to be venerated for their powers to protect, heal and overcome. The traits in these animals are often ones we can summon, or aspire to in ourselves. There are two directional sets of fetishes: the healing directional set and the hunting directional set. Most animal fetishes are the same for both healing and hunting, with a few exceptions. The spirits of these creatures have the power to assist us in different ways. A traveler, for instance, might carry the fetish of a mountain lion-powerful, resourceful, independent-for protection, while hunters would carry the fetish of a mountain lion for success in their pursuits.

Many 19th century Zuni fetishes are curated by our National Museum of Natural History's Anthropology Department.

Exquisite contemporary Zuni fetishes are held in the collections of our National Museum of the American Indian.
Alabaster, 2.5"l. x 1"h. x 1.25"w.; Black and Tan, 3"l. x 1"h. x 1.5"w.; Tan, 2.375"l. x 1.25"h. x 1.625"w."

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