I believe these fetishes to be Zuni in origin, based on the detailed style of the carving and the stones and shells that were used, including spiny oyster, turquoise, mother-of-pearl (pink, white and yellow) and other gemstones. Other Native American artists, particularly of the Navajo tribe, also carve fetishes so it is possible that these are, instead, Navajo. Regardless, the fetishes are beautiful and colorful and of high quality artisanship. There is no comparison between fetishes of this quality and less detailed, mass-produced animal beads that you find in fake fetish necklaces flooding the market, many produced overseas.
While this jewelry is not a vintage handmade Zuni product, I have created it in the traditional spirit of Zuni fetish necklaces, reflecting my own admiration for this traditional art form. This includes spacing between the fetishes of olive shell and turquoise heishi, and finishing the necklace with the original sterling silver cone findings that had finished the original necklace from which I obtained the fetishes. However, instead of the original hook and eye clasp, I attached a sterling silver, Italian made lobster clasp to make the necklace more secure. In addition, I hand-knotted the necklace in silk, knotting each fetish to protect them from loss, should the necklace ever break. (Also, please note that the shell and turquoise heishi was not part of the original vintage necklace and was purchased, new, by me.)
The animals represented in this necklace include bears, birds, foxes, a frog, and a fish. The necklace length is approximately 24 inches.
The cute little earrings feature two of the black bear fetishes, along with the olive shell and turquoise. They have a hand-hammered sterling silver serpentine motif (the Snake, while not represented among these carved fetishes, is also a traditional Zuni fetish animal). They dangle from sterling silver leverback earrings.
This beautiful, one-of-a-kind set will arrive in a gift box with a card describing materials and handcrafting.
Fetish necklace and earrings set featuring Native American hand-carved fetishes, shell, turquoise and silver
- Handmade item
- Materials: turquoise, heishi, olive shell, sterling silver, spiny oyster, mother of pearl, jasper, onyx, jade
- Feedback: 34 reviews
- Ships worldwide from Massachusetts, United States