Marvelita Phillips Turquoise Zuni Fetish Pot/ Bowl Pottery
Artist: Zuni Fetish carver and potter Marvelita Phillips
Medium: Pottery covered with turquoise chips/ Three miniature fetish bears attached with feathers/ 2 in serpentine/ 1 zebra stone / Cornmeal and one cedar bear inside of bowl (cedar is for protection!)
Size: 1 7/8" H x 2 1/4" Across
The Story of the Zuni Fetish Pot
Three hunters went to the mountains to obtain food but fell sick on their way. After several days of futile hunting they got together, sat on the ground and discussed their misfortune.
They began to remember what the elders had taught them. Take a ceremonial pot with corn and sacred fetishes inside and offer earnest prayers. This ritual had been handed down for generations.
Finally, on the fourth day they found and killed a fox. Taking the corn from the inside of the bowl they made a stew. Not only were they revived but their sickness was cured.
The inside of the fetish pot becomes the home of sacred fetishes. Sometimes medicines are stored there but always there is a corn meal offering to sustain the fetishes. Guards inhabit the outside with a "peak hole" in most pots.
The representation of the pot is to appease the spirit of the fetish and keep it happy. This harmony may be transferred to the owner bringing protection and good fortune from the four directions of mother earth.
Story passed down by a Native American elder