Zuni Fetish Symbolism
Here is a guide to meanings attributed to the various Zuni fetish animals. For more information, a guide to Native American fetish jewelry is under development.



Armadillo Armadillo is the keeper of the home. He is slow-moving and sure and makes sure he gets things done correctly. He also represents variety in one's inner life. In his personality, he is thick-skinned and reserved.


Badger represents passion and persistence. He will not give up until he has reached a desired goal. Because he livesclose to the ground, he has great knowledge of the earth.

Bear Bear is the guardian fetish of the West. He represents strength and self-knowledge, and is a spiritual guide who also has supernatural powers. Bear is a powerful healing fetish. The most powerful medicine bear is White Bear.
Beaver Beaver is industrious and diligent. He represents achievement, hard work and family unity.
Bobcat Bobcat is thought of as the older brother of Wolf and the younger brother of Mountain Lion. He is the hunting animal of the South and is often used when hunting antelope. Bobcat also represents clairvoyance and is a secret keeper.


Buffalo represents prophesy and fulfillment of powers. Buffalo also represents the perseverence and ability to rise above one's weaknesses.


Butterfly represents beauty, transformation and rebirth.

Corn Maiden

Corn Maiden represents strength, creation, and wisdom.


Coyote is the master trickster who often tricks himself. He represents humor and the ability to laugh at one's own mistakes. He is the spiritual brother of Raven.


Deer represents grace and gratitude. Deer is gentle and has the ability to sacrifice for the greater good. He also represents agility and speed.


Dog represents a true friend and is very loyal.


Dolpin represents the spirit of trust and friendship. He is very loyal.


Duck represents the spirits of those who have passed on.


Eagle is the guardian fetish of the Upper Region. He carries the power of intuition and creativeness, along with the powers of healing and spirit. His spirit transcends personal problems and he symbolizes becoming one with the Greater Spirit. He represents vision and higher truths.


Elk represents the ability to pace oneself and gain increasing stamina. He represents confidence and power.


Falcon represents power and harmony. He is intuitive and has the ability to see the big picture.


Fish represents the quality of tranquility, as well the appearance of tranquility.


Fox is clever and observant. He has the ability to blend in with his surroundings and is very loyal to loved ones.


Frogs are associated with water and rain. When asked, Frog will petition the spirits to bring abundant rain. Frog is also a fertility fetish. Women often keep a frog fetish by their bed when hoping to become pregnant. Frogs and tadpoles represent the cycle of life.


Hawk is the messenger of the Gods. He represents energy and inspiration.

Horned Lizard

Horned Lizard represents longevity and self-reliance.


Horse represents partnerships and strength. He also represents power and growth of abilities. Horse has innate healing powers.


Hummingbird is a messenger and represents the ability to stop time. He also represents joy and beauty.


Lizard represents patience and wisdom. He also represents conversation and agility.

Mole Mole is the guardian fetish of the Lower Region. He represents awareness and grounding and has the ability to look inward.
Moose Moose is headstrong and represents longevity.
Mountain Lion Mountain lion is the guardian fetish of the North. He represents leadership and personal power. Mountain lion is carried by travelers to protect them on their journey and also carried by hunters to help ensure a successful hunt.
Mouse Mouse represents attention to detail.
Otter Otter is playful and represents laughter and curiosity. He represents the balanced female side.
Owl Owl is the protector of the home. He represents wisdom and truth and has the ability to see what others cannot.
Parrot Parrot is symbolic of the sun.
Porcupine Porcupine represents the power of faith and trust.
Quail Quail represents holiness and the sacred spirit.
Rabbit Rabbit represents gentleness, charm, and awareness of others. Rabbit is the special guardian of women in childbirth and is associated with safe childbirth and a long life for children. He also represents virtue and serenity.
Raccoon Raccoon is shy and resourceful.
Ram Ram is used to help increase the herds.
Raven Raven is clever and represents magic and transformation. He is a messenger of great mystery and represents a change in consciousness. He helps guide us through the darkest of times.
Snake Snake represents primitive energy and helps us connect with greater powers. He symbolizes life, death, and rebirth. He is believed to have curative powers and is also associated with lightning. Snake is very important in Zuni ceremonies.
Spider Spider represents the creative patterns of life.
Squirrel Squirrel represents the ability to plan ahead and is very industrious. He represents natural intelligence and the protector of reserves.
Turtle Turtle is a symbol of Mother Earth. He represents patience, self-reliance, tenacity, and longevity.
Wolf Wolf represents loyalty and family values. A pair of wolves is often carved together, representing the wolf's characteristic of mating for life. Wolf is a teacher, pathfinder, and represents a sharing of knowledge. He teaches us inner guidance and clarity.