Zuni bear fetishes represent healing and strength. This stylized bear fetish from Zuni artist Gabe Sice is a stunning representation of an ancient art. Handcrafted from elk antler, the carved piece is ivory-hued with a beautiful black mottling and cabbed stones. Sice depicts his bear figure with its eyes raised towards the sky.
- Fetish handcrafted by Gabe Sice (Zuni)
- Elk antler
- Turquoise and coral bead accent
- Fetish measures 2 1/4” tall x 2" wide
- Traditional Zuni fetish>
- Comes with a signed Certificate of Authenticity
Handcrafted works of Native American art require special care. For more information about proper care and cleaning, please read our Care Guide.
Gabriel Sice is an award-winning third-generation fetish carver from the Pueblo of Zuni, New Mexico, and belongs to the Haloo carving family. He has been producing fetish carvings since 1992, and credits his older brother, Colvin Peina, for teaching him the family craft.
Mr. Sice’s main medium for his carvings are deer and elk antler, but he often works with other media such as black Belgium marble, Picasso marble, alabaster, serpentine, mother-of-pearl shell, and lapis. He is known for his carvings of standing bears, badgers, frogs, parrots, and Pueblo/corn maidens.
Mr. Sice has exhibited his work and won awards in the Santa Fe Indian Market in Sante Fe, NM, Heard Guild Museum Indian Fair and Market in Phoenix, AZ, and the Gallup Inter-Tribal Ceremonial in Gallup, NM. He also participates in the Prescott Indian Art Market in Prescott, AZ, Haskell Indian Market in Lawrence, KS, and the Indigenous Fine Art Market (IFAM) in Santa Fe, NM.
In Zuni culture, each of the six directions—north, south, east, west, above, and below—are guarded by an animal, and the bear is the guardian of the west. In Native American culture, bears often represent strength, courage and self-knowledge. The Zuni people believe they are spiritual guides and healers, and carved bear fetishes are seen as a powerful healing tool, offering protection to their keeper.
Fetishes are small carvings that depict animals or other important Native icons. Many tribes and Pueblos of the Southwest are known for making fetishes, but this ancient art form is most closely associated with the Zuni, who are considered the most skilled fetish carvers. Early Zuni fetishes were called Ahlashiwe, or stone ancients. Traditionally, they depict wolves, bears, mountain lions, eagles, frogs, rabbits, fish, corn maiden and other animals. The Zuni people believe that the skills and qualities of the animal reside in these fetishes and can bring some of the animals’ power to their keeper. They are often part of ceremonies and serve as a powerful connection to nature and the spirit world.Read our Native American Carvings Collector's Guide.
At Shumakolowa Native Arts, we guarantee that your purchase is an original and authentic work handcrafted by Native American artists as defined by the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990. We ask our artists to complete an extensive certification process, providing a CIB (Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood) card and other documentation of their Native American heritage. Our team of experts carefully inspects every product to guarantee it is handcrafted using traditional, sustainable processes, and natural materials of only the highest quality. We record the place and date of each purchase, and pride ourselves in paying a fair price that allows artists to make a living practicing their craft.
Every work of handcrafted art comes with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by an artist or buyer. At a time when many commercially made products are being sold as handcrafted Native American art, our in-depth purchase process allows us to guarantee the authenticity of every unique piece of fine art we offer. For more than 35 years, we have made it a priority to visit artists in their studio or home to purchase their latest handcrafted pieces and learn about their work. We have developed lasting relationships with artists, as well as dealers and collectors, and we take pride in being a trusted destination for fine Native American art.