Zuni Medicine Bear

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Quick Overview

Onyx bear with three turquoise inlay arrows, and a medicine bundle that includes coral, shell, turquoise, and a mother of pearl arrowhead.

Measures: ~ 2-3/4" tall x 2-1/2" wide x 3/4" thick 

Nation: Zuni

Artist: Donovan Laiwekete

More Information

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.

The Bear fetish is considered the guardian of the West. The Bear is associated with great strength, power, healing and self-knowledge. He is the great protector and a spiritual guide. The Bear is a powerful healing fetish.