Having presented a Power Point “Comprehensive Guide to Collecting American Indian Jewelry” yesterday, a superb question was posed:
How did American Indians progress from making fetishes for their own use to carving them to be utilized in necklaces?
Fetishes were originally blessed by American Indian ” healers, medicine men”, after which they carefully wrapped and put into a pouch, often carried by their owners. Later some of these were tied into necklaces in the same manner as sing beads. Sing beads were attached by winding the string several times around a portion of the bead versus through a pierced hole.
Piercing of non-blessed fetishes was done strictly for tourist purposes, starting with one fetish , subsequently growing to include many fetishes to adorn a strung heishi necklace.
The answer to this question was provided by a trusted colleague, who has been involved with Zuni fetishes for over fifty years.
Corinne Cain of www.SavvyCollector.com