If you're familiar with Zuni fetishes the family name Leekya should be very familiar to you as they are considered by many collectors as the "First Family" of Zuni fetish carvers.
This very attractive Buffalo fetish was carved by Freddie Leekya, one of today's foremost, and most collectible, Zuni fetish artists.
American Indians have carved and carried fetishes for hundreds of years as they believe these objects carry magical powers that can help their lives in many different ways.
A buffalo fetish is believed to bring good luck, healing powers, abundance and courage to whomever owns and carries it with them.
This buffalo fetish measures 2+1/2" long and it stands 1+1/4" tall. It weighed in at 59 grams. As with most of Freddie's fetishes there is no hallmark nor signature.
After carving the buffalo Freddie further adorned it by adding turquoise horns and black jet eyes. As the pictures displayed below will show you the combination of the colors is stunning.
We obtained this fetish at one of the artist co-ops on the Zuni Reservation in western New Mexico. We were told by the co-op that this piece was made by Freddie and the stone he carved it from is agate.
Recently fetishes like this are also being used for something totally different. Many poker players, seeking something that will bring them luck, have started using fetishes as card guards (or card protectors). They place the fetish on top of their "down" cards hoping it will help them in winning the game.
Although the idea of using card guards has been around for several years most guards were poker chips with various emblems printed on them.
Now, since poker has become extremely popular, many poker players are looking for something more personal to use as their card guard. Zuni made fetishes seem to have filled their need and are available in forms that represent many different kinds of animals thought to possess magical powers.
So, whether you appreciate owning traditional Native American art, or just want some luck in winning at poker, this fetish is available to help you in either way.