Thursday, January 3, 2008

Fetish Beauty

I can't say that I believe in the power of fetishes, but I can certainly appreciate their beauty.

Fetish carvings and fetish necklaces can be found thoughout Gallup. We even have one store specializing in Navajo made fetishes and another that sells only Zuni carved ones.

I have a few fetish pieces up in the Ebay store where the fetish necklaces sell fairly well. A customer recently challenged me with questions about one of my listings. I subsequently went around town making inquiries about the lower end products. Cheap foreign imports are readily available, but there are indeed Navajo and Zuni carvers who readily carve fetishes in large quantities with the assistance of a grinding wheel or Dremel tool. In fact, one Native American lady takes in whole bags of her small inexpensive fetishes to a major dealer here in Gallup who then hires a Navajo to drill them then string them into necklaces.

Before my recent challenge question, I had paid little attention to fetishes. That's all changed. Yesterday I went out in search of the best which I found in the work of the Zuni couple Pete and Diane Gaspar. The necklace you see above is all hand carved from fossilized ivory. I'll soon list it along with the matching earrings on Ebay. It will cost more than mere pocket change, but it is a definite luxury collectible. And yes, I'll be sad to part with this beautiful piece, magic or no magic.