This is a very attractive turtle fetish that we purchased on our last trip to the Zuni Pueblo, in southern New Mexico.
Handmade by the wonderfully talented Zuni fetish carver Russell Shack this fetish measures 1+3/4" long, 1+3/8" wide and it stands 1/2" tall. It weighed in at 31 grams.
Please see the pictures displayed above as they will describe this fetish better than any words we may write.
Here are some of the details:
Russell carved this fetish from a piece of Zuni rock (aka, travertine).
He then inlaid small pieces of turquoise and black jet on the turtle's back, and he also inlaid black jet eyes.
American Indians have used fetishes throughout recorded history. Fetishes are believed to hold magical powers that protect the owner, or craftsmen, from various problems of mind or body.
If you're interested in learning more about Zuni fetishes do a Google search and read the Wikipedia article.
Recently fetishes have become desirable to a different group of people for a totally different reason. Poker players use flat bottomed fetishes, like this turtle, as card protectors hoping they will bring them luck in their poker game.
Some pictures are enlarged to show detail.
The coin in one of the pictures is a quarter.
Colors may vary slightly based on your monitor's settings.