Although Zuni fetish carving has an extremely long history, ‘older Zuni fetish carvings’ refer to a much more recent timeline. One of the oldest carvings, unearthed at Chaco Canyon around 1900, was made over 1000 years ago. During the intervening centuries, fetishes were carved and used strictly for religious purchases.
The chronology of fetish carvings (made for the public) is not even 100 years old. Fetishes made for sale can be classified as older (usually pre-1995) and vintage (pre-1960)…
Older Zuni Fetish Carvings Gallery -A4
Most of the vintage and older fetishes reside in museum vaults and in private collections. The auction catalog (from 1975) of the C.G. Wallace collection and a pictorial guide by Oscar Branson, gives a glimpse of the older designs and styling by immortal carvers Leekya Deyuse and Teddy Weahkee and others..
Some of the pieces shown here are vintage but mainly they are older ones. Popular artists, designs no longer carved, interesting poses and expressions – when artists took more time to execute their carvings. These might be classified as collection builders or fillers. Carvings here include these artists: Herbert Him, EstabanNajera, Pernell Laate, Sarah Leekya, Rhoda Quam, Lance Cheama and Eric Weeka.