Fetish Necklace

The art form of Native American stone carving has come to the attention of art collectors in recent years; however, it has survived pre-history. Carving fetishes has been a part of the Zuni culture for hundreds of years. The art of carving decorative “fetish necklacesâ€? was first practiced by Pueblo and Zuni carvers. These necklaces are either one strand or multi-strands of strung together with a variety of small carved animal figures that are drilled and strung with shell or turquoise "heishi" beads. These bird or animal carvings may be as small as a half an inch or less. The fetish necklaces may be created by a single artist, a family of artists, or assembled by a group of artists who work together in what is called a “benchâ€? shop. The Quandalacie family is one of the first Zuni families to work together. Each family member carved and contributed a fetish for a necklace given as a gift to their mother. In the 1960’s, the Leekya family created fetish necklaces, and in the late 1950’s, Santo Domingo Pueblo carvers began producing fetish bird necklaces.

Fetishes were originally carved by Native American tribes to ceremonially capture the spirit of the animal they represent. They were tied with offerings of shells, stones, or feathers, and were "fed" with corn pollen or other foods as an offering to the spirit of the fetish. The Zuni as well as other Pueblo tribes kept their fetishes in jars inside of their kivas, and only brought them out only for specific ceremonies. Some fetishes are not carved for ceremonies, but for art; however, certain restrictions and taboos may be observed when created.

The unique character of each American Indian stone carving is due to the variety of the stone or shell, and each is piece is carved by hand. Fetishes are made of many forms and or materials, but they all have a purpose, which is to assist man against any potential or real problems, which include those of the body, mind, or universe.

Fetishes may be decorated with various items such as turquoise, coral, or arrowheads for adornment, which shows the appreciation or affection for the artist of the recipient. The performance of a fetish depends upon the care or treatment it receives in someone’s possession.

Larger hand carved sculptures, often of Native Limestone, alabaster, and other minerals, are created without the concept of ceremonialism and for artistic display; however, they still reflect Native American religion and cosmology. Some pieces may be realistic, depict everyday life, express Native American spirituality with ancient symbols, or more abstract in design. Each fetish carving exhibits the characteristics of the various Native American cultures and heritage.

The Zuni Indians believe in six cardinal guardian fetishes, and each symbolizes a direction and has a particular animal and color synonymous with that direction. The guardian fetish of the North is yellow and the mountain lion. The South is red and the badger. The West is blue and the bear. The East is white and the wolf. The inner earth, or nadir, is black and the mole, and the sky, or Zepath, is represented by the eagle and no specific color.

Some of the meanings and characteristics of the Zuni fetishes include: Armadillo: a slow, sure animal; no hurry; gets things right; keeper of the home Badger: the ability to reach a desired goal Bear: inner power to perceive one’s present circumstances; strength Beaver: progressive builder; establishes and promotes family unity Buffalo: steadfast endurance to rise above one's weakness Coyote: humor; the ability to laugh at oneself Eagle: soaring spirit transcending personal problems; a connection to the Divine Fox: protection; camouflage camouflage Frog: able to petition the spirits to bring forth abundant rain Horned Toad: self-reliance; longevity in life; conservation of native bounty. Horse: one of the two fetishes that has innate healing powers Mole: amplifies connections to with the earth; keeper of the underground Mountain Lion: resourcefulness; leadership Owl: keeper of the night; controls the dark side of nature; wise, smart, patient, and endurance of mind. Ram: used to gain an increase of herds Raven: the beak, when scratched across an afflicted person's skull, releases its healing powers Snake: power symbol of life, death, and rebirth Turtle: long, meaningful life Wolf: a teacher; a path finder on a never ending journey for survival

Native Americans have been handcrafting jewelry since they first drew inspiration from their natural surroundings and transformed shell and stone into wearable jewelry. Some of the oldest discovered pieces date from over 10,000 years ago. The skilled artisans at Alltribes continue the age-old tradition and create captivating works of art that will surpass your expectations!

Alltribes is one of the rare workshops that you can actually come in and visit, and see Native Americans creating extraordinary pieces of jewelry. We are conveniently located near Scottsdale, Mesa and Phoenix, AZ in the historic town of Gilbert. Alltribes Native American Art and Jewelry blends ancient history, natural beauty, and unparalleled expertise flawlessly.

Our Jewelry

The design and quality of our Silver and Turquoise jewelry are unmatched and stand far above the rest. Turquoise conveys a special meaning as it has for centuries and in populations across the globe. Turquoise signifies healing, spirit and good fortune. The masterful techniques, our artisans incorporate this semi-precious stone into beautiful and intricate designs, draws customers from around the world.

You can own a piece of Native American artistry without spending a fortune. Alltribes provides deep discounts because we don't purchase our jewelry elsewhere. Our in-house artists and silversmiths create custom pieces without the extra expenses of middlemen, shipping and tariffs.

Our Local History

Gilbert, AZ provides the ideal location for crafting our Native American jewelry. The Navajo and Hopi Indian tribes have inhabited nearby lands for many thousands of years. Their eternal respect for natural beauty and their innate talent shines through in every handcrafted piece of jewelry.

Our dazzling, Sleeping Beauty Turquoise comes from a nearby mine in Globe, AZ. This unique and exceedingly rare turquoise is renowned for its hardness, durability, and gorgeous color. Our artisans preserve the natural beauty of this precious stone, so you can admire its elegance for years to come. A hand buffed polish protects the stones and heightens its natural beauty.

Our Tradition

In addition to Native American jewelry, Alltribes upholds the ancient traditions of Native Americans by offering more than remarkable jewelry. You can also own Hopi Kachina dolls, pueblo pottery, hand-dyed leather belts, dreamcatchers, tomahawks and other Southwestern and Native American artifacts, to beautify your home and your life. It is our pleasure, to help spread knowledge about the Native American culture to the general public.

As part of our continuing effort to inform and inspire, we offer a vast array of in-depth knowledge for those who want to learn more about Native Americans and the Southwest. Our online knowledge center is free for all and includes some of the most interesting and complete information available online.

Alltribes has been serving our valued customers for over 50 years, so you can rest assured that when you have a question or concern, we'll be right here, ready to help. When you purchase something online today, you never know if the company will still be there, next week or next month.

Alltribes' reputation and longstanding experience ensure you get more than just jewelry – you get a wealth of seasoned knowledge and exceptional service…..that you can count on! We consider our customers to be part of our extended family and we're proud to say that our family now spans continents. We'd love to have you join us!

In addition to our local Native American products, we offer distinguished wares, sourced from Native American tribes across the U.S. Navajo, Hopi, Zuni and other Native American artists provide one-of-a-kind items that we proudly offer to you, at direct to you prices!

Alltribes is much more than just a manufacturer, store and knowledge center. We keep a jewelry workshop on site. If you want a custom design, our silversmiths will work with you to turn your dream into reality. Have an idea for something new? Talk with our artisans and discuss how to bring it to fruition. And should your beloved jewelry ever need to be repaired, we help with that, too.

Whether you're a Native American enthusiast, a collector, a designer or simply someone who loves beauty, Alltribes showcases a diverse collection of superior artifacts, sure to satisfy even the most selective customer.