Off-white "fish rock" (serpentine), with a stunning variety of turquoise carefully arranged in a mosiac pattern as the turtle's shell. There are also inlaid turquoise spots on the body of the turtle.
Measures: ~ 2-1/2" long x 1-3/4" wide x 1/2" tall
Artist: Cheryl Beyuka, Zuni
Prized for their beauty and spiritual renewal, fetishes have long been an important part of Native American Culture. When a Fetish maker prays over his created work, a mystical power is believed to become released, assisting a person in finding a solution to their present problems. All Southwestern tribes make and use fetishes, however, the Zuni people have developed a reputation for being skillful carvers. Among the Zunis, fetishes offer good luck, protection, and hunting guidance from the inner spirit of each carved animal.
Turtles symbolize water, longevity, and fertility.