This ancient art form is rooted in complex Zuni religious beliefs. Zuni Fetishes are hand carved "animal totems" from the Zuni tribe in New Mexico. Fetishes were shaped from organic material to serve as abodes for spirits, and would impart their powers to those who carried them. The Zunis believe that the animal shares some of its traits with the bearer of a Fetish Carving. Each Zuni Fetish Animal has a different meaning and is used for different purposes. Today, fetishes have moved beyond their traditional forms and can be found in increasing variety.
The most traditional and powerful of the Zuni Fetishes are the animals of the Six Directions.
Fetishes of the Six Directions
I. Eagle (Guardian of the Upper Regions)
Direction of the Home of the High
Great Power and Balance, Dignity with Grace, Ability to See the “Big Picture”, Grace Achieved Through Knowledge and Hard Work, Intuitive and Creative Spirit, Respect for the Boundaries of the Regions, Connection with Higher Truths
II. Bear (Guardian of the West)
Direction of the Home of the Waters
Introspection (self-examination), Strength in the Face of Adversity, Healing, Introversion (withdrawal from the world), Solitude, Change, Management of Transitions, Communication Between Humans and Spirit
III. Wolf (Guardian of the East)
Direction of the Home of the Day
Loyalty, Insight and Revelation, Social and Familial Values, Clarity, Teaching and Learning, Instinct Linked with Intelligence, Inner Guidance, Expression of Personal Truths, Newness, Including New Choices
IV. Mountain Lion (Guardian of the North)
Direction of the Swept or Barren Place
Personal Power, Territorialism, Intuitive Ability, Steadfastness, Inner Spirit, Bond With Higher Source, Resourcefulness, Loyalty or Dedication
V. Badger (Guardian of the South)
Direction of the Place of the Beautiful Red
Aggressiveness, Single-mindedness, Antidote to Passivity or Victimization, Passion, Persistence in the Service of a Mission, Control, Groundedness and Knowledge of the Earth
VI. Mole (Guardian of the Lower Regions)
Direction of the Home of the Low
Connection with the Energies of the Earth, Love Expressed in Nature, Knowledge of Herbs, Roots, Minerals, Seeds, Rivers, and Other Hidden Bounties of Earth, Sensitivity to Touch and Vibration, the Kinesthetic Sense, Ability to Turn Inward, Introspection and Blindness to All but Light and Dark in the Material World, Awareness of Subtle Energies and Influences
The Zunis have many other Fetish carvings. Here are a common few below with examples of each Fetish's traits:
Self-centeredness, Crazy Wisdom, Buffoonery, Arrogance , Vanity , Clownishness, Personification of the “Human Comedy”, Ability to Laugh at One’s Own Mistakes, The Antihero Whose Antics Make it Easier to See Ourselves, Puppet of the Gods, The “Trickster”, Clownishness
Exploration of the Mysteries of Life, Elemental or Primitive Energy, Elusiveness, Zigzagging and Slithering Motion, Personification of Lightning
Magic and Sorcery, Transformational Powers, Courage and Comfort with the Darkness, Guidance for Deeper Understanding of the Shadow Self
Falcon – Younger Brother of the Eagle
Power and Harmony, Ability to See the “Big Picture”, Intuitive and Creative Spirit, Grace Achieved Through Knowledge and Hard Work, Telepathic Communication with Other People or Animals
Owl – Night Bird
The Medicine of Sorcery, Communication Between Spiritual and Physical Realities, Link Between the Dark, Unseen World and the World of Light, Magical Transformation, Comfort With the Shadow Self
Lucky, Playful “Trickster”, Crazy Wisdom, Irony Aimed at Getting Us to Look at Ourselves, Representative of the World of Illusion and Double Meanings, Paradox and Contradiction, Guile, Example of Living by One’s Wits
Cleverness, Loyalty and Protectiveness of Family and Friends, Observational Skills, Ability to Disappear Into the Landscape, Clarity About the Value of Blending In
Variety in One’s Inner Life, Thick-skinned, Nocturnal, Gentle, Slow-moving, Reserved, Ability to Live in a Narrow Niche of its Own
Symbol of the Earth (“Turtle Island”), Connection With the Center, Self-reliance, Tenacity, Nonviolent Defense, Skilled Navigator
Our Primordial Cousin, A Reminder of Common Bonds With All of Life, Singer of Songs That Celebrate the Most Ancient Watery Beginnings
Deer (Bison/Buffalo) –
Ability to Sacrifice for the Higher Good, Grace and Appreciation for the Beauty of Balance, Moderation, Understanding of What’s Necessary for Survival, Power of Gratitude and Giving
Power, Expanding One’s Own Potential Abilities, Control of the Environment, Interspecies Communication, Awareness of Power Achieved With True Cooperation
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Although the best way to test the size and fit of a piece of jewelry is to try it on in the store, we know that is not always an option. In an effort to help you choose the piece that is right for you, we have included measurements of each piece on the website. Here is how our measurements are defined:
Finding the right size bracelet for your wrist has always been a tricky endeavor, since, unlike rings, there isn't a standardized, universal sizing chart for wrist size. One reason for this is that we all have different shaped wrists, some of us have round wrists, while others have more oval. Bracelets, like wrists, also have different shapes.
So, while bracelet sizing will never be an exact science, we've done what we can to ensure the greatest chance of a comfortable fit. The best thing you can do if you don't know your wrist size is to take a soft measuring tape and loosely measure the circumference of your wrist at the point you plan on wearing it. Try not to have the measuring tape dig into your skin, as this will result in a smaller than ideal size. Once you have the circumference of your wrist, compare it to the chart below to find the correct bracelet size. If your wrist measures in-between two sizes, we recommend rounding up to the larger size. (ie: if your wrist measures 6.375"- you should shop for size "Medium" bracelets.)
Corresponding Bracelet Size
6.75" - 7"
You may want to drill down further on the bracelet sizing to make sure the cuff is a comfortable fit. You will notice on our website that we generally list four measurements for bracelets:
Keep in mind that certain bracelets can be adjusted slightly to fit your wrist, but those with inlay or stones all the way around will be damaged if bent. In any case, it is always best to check with with us to see if a particular bracelet is adjustable.
Lastly, have no fear! If you order a bracelet that doesn't fit, send it back for one that does! We want this to be a positive experience, you should never wear something that isn't 100% comfortable. More on our return policy here.
Sizing belt buckles is pretty straightforward. The height and width are self-explanatory, and the belt width describes the maximum belt width the buckle will fit on.
We try to include the height and width for the conchas, as well as the buckle (if different), and the width of the belt they are on. The length of the concha belts can be less important, because these belts are often made quite long to accommodate many waist sizes, and then can be shortened to fit the wearer. If you are concerned whether or not a belt will fit you, just ask. We are happy to size most of our concha belts before shipping.