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NOTE: The Carved animal beads here are not Native American products. The beads are “Indian-style” products imported into the United States. Beads are (N) natural stone, (D) dyed stone, (M) man made, or 'block' -> a man made material designed to resemble the appearance of a natural gemstone.  Due to the handmade nature, every bead is unique and small variances will exist. 

What is a Fetish?

A Fetish is an object which is believed to have magic powers.

American Indians have used Fetishes throughout recorded history; especially the Indians of the Southwest.

Fetishes may be of any form or material. Regardless of the form or material however, a Fetish has one paramount purpose; to assist man against any real or potential problems. The problems can be those of the mind, the body or the universe.

A Fetish can be owned by any individual, family, clan, kiva society or by the entire tribe. Regardless of the ownership, the care of a Fetish is always the responsibility of an individual. Special care must be taken to see that the Fetish is properly fed, admired, and cared for.

Fetishes are believed to feed on cornmeal while they are kept in a special pot or pouch. Ground turquoise is often mixed with the cornmeal.

A Fetish may be made and "decorated" with turquoise, arrowheads, and coral, etc. as a means of adornment. This adornment is a show of affection and appreciation by its maker and/or owner. The better treatment a Fetish receives, the better performance it is likely to provide. Fetishes are also used to make necklaces and other types of jewelry.

Most Fetishes relate to animals. Most often these animals are animals of prey. They are acknowledged as the most powerful providers in life; so, they are likewise accepted as having the greatest Fetish powers. They are generally admired for their strong hearts. Many believe their strong hearts make them dominant and therefore, survivors; the hunter rather than the hunted.

The Zuni Indians of New Mexico believe strongly in six cardinal guardian Fetishes. Each is symbolic of a direction and has a specific color with which it is associated. The guardian Fetish of the North is the mountain lion (yellow). The South (red) is the badger, the West (Blue) is the bear and the East (white) is the wolf. Additionally, the mole is the guardian of the Nadir of Inner Earth (black) and Zepath (the air) is the eagle (all colored bird forms).

Most Fetishes are made from semi-precious stones, minerals and shells which are of natural beauty that are the gifts that nature has provided us.



Armadillo is strong and tenacious.  It teaches how to protect yourself from potential threats


Protective animal of the South. Aggressiveness, perseverance.


Protective animal of the West. Strength, introspection, the power of the soul.


Builder, strong sense of family and home.


Carry prayers to clouds and sky, asking for rain and blessing.


Hunting animal of the South.


Endurance to overcome one's weakness.


Emerged with the Zuni from the Underworld. Brings plentiful harvest.


Hunting animal of the West. Trickster, laughter, humor.


Gentleness; the power of gentleness.


Protective & hunting animal of the sky. Spirit, a connection with the Divine.


Camouflage, protection.


Invokes the spirit to provide rain in drought areas.


Along with the Raven, has the possession of healing powers.


Some Southwest Indian tribes believe horned lizards can cure the sick by asking for the lizard's strength in song and chant 


Protective & hunting animal of the underground. Protector of growing crops.


Protective & hunting animal of the North. Leadership, resourcefulness.


teaches independence and self-reliance for our needs. 


Guardian of the home.


represents power, grace and can help us to discover the benefits of concentration, deep contemplation and prayer


Game species help increase the numbers of each animal.


Used to secure an increase of flocks.


Along with the Horse has the possession of healing powers.


Transmutation life-death, rebirth.


Longevity, a symbol of Mother Earth.


Protective & hunting animal of the East. Teacher, pathfinder on the never-ending journey for survival.