This stylized bear fetish from Zuni artist Claudia Peina is a stunning representation of an ancient art. Handcrafted from elk antler, the carved piece is ivory-hued with a beautiful black mottling and depicts a bear figure with its eyes raised towards the sky. Zuni bear fetishes are a symbol of strength, courage, healing and protection, making this piece a meaningful addition to your Native American art collection.
- Fetish handcrafted by Claudia Peina (Zuni)
- Elk antler
- Turquoise and coral heishi bead accent
- Fetish measures 5-3/4” x 5” x 2”
- 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.
Claudia Peina is an award-winning Zuni fetish carver known for her elegant bear and Corn Maiden figures. She hand carves her fetishes from deer or elk antler, shell and ivory and accents them with turquoise, coral and jet. Her mastery of this ancient art shows in the fine craftsmanship and detail of her beautiful fetishes.
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. 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 work directly with artists or partner with trusted wholesalers who can provide documentation that their artists and artisans are of Native American heritage. 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, we stand behind the authenticity of every unique piece of fine art we offer. For more than 35 years, we have developed lasting relationships with artists, dealers and collectors, and we take pride in being a trusted destination for fine Native American art.