Native-American-Art
Arts of Native America
Materials Used To Make Zuni Fetishes

Home Up

 
 Jump To Another Area  
Search River Trading Post

 

Subscribe To River Trading Post Times Online For Special Values .  Just Enter Your E-mail Address.


Toll Free 866-426-6901

 

The Zunis create their wonderful fetishes from minerals and materials found round the world.  We've put together this little guide of some of the substances used to help you understand a bit more about your Zuni Fetish.  Sort of makes you feel like a geologist, doesn't it?

 

Material Description
Abalone Shell Any of various large edible marine gastropods of the genus Haliotis, having an ear-shaped shell with a row of holes along the outer edge. The colorful pearly interior of the shell is often used for making ornaments. Also called ear shell.
Alabaster A type of gypsum that is very soft. Comes in variety of colors. Most comes from Colorado and Nevada.
Amber Tree resin that has hardened and been preserved in the earth's crust for millions of years. From the Baltic region and the Dominican Republic.
Ammonite Fossil Fossils of cephalopod mollusks, along with squid and octopuses. Some are over 100 million years old.
Antler Primarily from deer and alk, although moose or caribou antler is used. Brought to Zuni by traders.
Azurite A deep blue mineral often found with turquoise in copper deposits.
Black Marble A type of limestone found primarily in Europe. Provides great surface for sgrafitto carving.
Boulder Opal Ironstone based mineral that is mined in Australia.
Calcite The primary ore of calcium. Usually imported from Mexico.
Chrysocolla Blue or green mineral often found with turquoise in copper deposits.
Coral An undersea organism first imported into Zuni in the 1930's. It is now a rarity. From the Mediterranean.
Dolomite A type of limestone; or a dolomite rock that comes from Mexico.
Egyptian Marble A hard crystalline metamorphic rock that takes a high polish; used for sculpture and as building material
Fish Rock Fish Rock is serpentine, a very common mineral found worldwide and appears in a wide range of colors.
Fluorite Flourite occurs throughout the world and occurs in unflawed crystals in beautiful colors.
Fossil A remnant or trace of an organism of a past geologic age, such as a skeleton or leaf imprint, embedded and preserved in the earth's crust
Fossilized Ivory A remnant or trace of an organism of a past geologic age, such as a skeleton or leaf imprint, embedded and preserved in the earth's crust
Fossilized Jasper A remnant or trace of an organism of a past geologic age, such as a skeleton or leaf imprint, embedded and preserved in the earth's crust
Fossilized Snail A remnant or trace of an organism of a past geologic age, such as a skeleton or leaf imprint, embedded and preserved in the earth's crust
Indian Paint Comes from Nevada with tan, black and brick red markings. A type of jasper.
Iron Pyrite Fool's gold
Ivory Ivory used today is fossilized ivory from Alaska. Elephant ivory is no longer used.
Jasper A fine grained quartz.
Jet A hard black type of lignite coal mined for centuries around Acoma Pueblo.
Labradorite Labradorite is an unusual mineral that reflects light and disperses it into different colors. From Finland and Russia usually.
Lapis A mineral found in Afghanistan and Chile
Limestone A sedimentary rock consisting mainly of calcium that was deposited by the remains of marine animals
Malachite A secondary copper mineral found in oxidized copper deposits. Much comes from the Congo.
Mother of Pearl Shell The iridescent inside of a shell.
Obsidian Natural glass used by some Native Americans in the manufacture of arrowheads and points.
Onyx Onys is a form of agate with parallel banding. This structure lends itself to cameo making. Onyx is a species of chalcedony
Orange Alabaster A type of gypsum that is very soft. Comes in variety of colors. Most comes from Colorado and Nevada.
Picasso Marble A type of limestone from southwestern Utah. Found in tans, browns, gerys, white and black.
Pipestone Catlinite is a hardened clay mixture tinted red by iron. Used by Plains Indians for ceremonial pipes. Most from Minnesota.
Rainbow Calsilica A stablized material appearing in seams of color in the host rock (volcanic rhyolite). From Mexico
Red Slag Vitreous materials containing impurities from the ore and forming on the surface of molten metals
Rosetta A form of basalt.
Selenite A Crystalline gypsum from Utah.
Sepertarian Clay ironstone with yellow to white calcite crystals from Utah.
Serpentine Serpentine is a very common mineral found worldwide and appears in a wide range of colors.
Slag Vitreous materials containing impurities from the ore and forming on the surface of molten metals
Soap Stone A brownish stone found in Colorado.
Spiny Oyster Shell Spondylus oyster shows red, orange or purple on the outside and white on the inside.
Sugulite A manganese mineral introduced from South Africa around 1979.
Tigers Eye Yellow-brown quartz from South Africa.
Travertine Also known as "Mexican onyx, it is a variety of calcite.
Turquoise Copper aluminum phosphate. The bluer, the more copper. Mined in tunnel and open-pit mines throughout the Southwest.
Variscite Greenish aluminum phosphate primarily from Utah and Nevada.
Vermillion The crystalline (metallic and sub-metallic) varieties are generally harder than the earthy (non-metallic) varieties.
An ore of iron.
White Marble Metamorphosed limestone or dolomite.
Wild Horse A form of jasper found in Eastern Oregon and Western Idaho
Wonder Stone Wonderstone is a natural stone that is quarried in South Africa and
it is made up of 58% Silica and 30% Alumina.
Zebra Stone A black and white marble from Utah. Also called "skunk rock"
Zuni Stone Non-crystalline travertine found on the Zuni reservation.