Jack wrote this in November, 2005:
I’m going to insist on believing there’s someone out there interested in this stuff, even though there’s reason for thinking so, other than my own enthusiasm for such things. That’s sufficient to make up for profound disinterest in the multitudes.
Tonight I feel moved to ramble on about fetishes. Rock art religious objects usually depicting animals, establishing a connection between the owner of the fetish and the traits or spirit of the animal being depicted. There’s a lot of rock art out there these days made by the tribes, particularly the Zunis, but it differs between itself and a fetish because there’s no spiritual connection.
If you wished to change the modern rock art piece you happen to own into a fetish there are ways to do it, but most don’t know, or don’t choose to do so. You could begin by holding the object in your hand, studying it with an internal intensity, and muttering the words, “Thank you Ulysses Mat’e, (or whomever the artist was) for freeing this (lion, dream sheep mother, badger, bear, whatever) from the dumbness of stone.” A beginning.
Animal fetishes have been around for an awfully long time among Native Americans. Probably elsewhere, also. The puma fetish pictured below is almost a thousand years old. A friend found it at a ruin on my Y2K land that’s well dated. The dwelling was among those destroyed during the civil war of about 1125 AD. More about that later.
However, look closely at the crude work. You’ll see a line, an arrow of sorts running from the head/mouth of the lion to the right ending about the abdomen. That’s the heart-line, and it’s another characteristic you often find in fetishes.
This is another old one, also crude. It represents a bird. (Note from Jeanne: Sadly, I cannot find this fetish, or even a photo of it). Maybe a roadrunner, maybe a quail, maybe a vulture or predatory bird. You can see the chips were taken out to bring the shape of the head into the lower left and depicting the beak in the curvature of the red area.
One of the fascinating aspects of this fetish lies in the fact that someone, maybe generations of someones a long time ago, carried this fetish in his medicine bag. The chip edges are all worn until there;s no edge to them, rounded by wear in a way that would require an awfully long while in a rock tumbler to duplicate.
As it happens, I wear a medicine bag around my neck with a number of objects inside that have been with me for years. This fetish rides with them.
Safe Thanksgiving to all of you, and joy.