Zuñi Fetiches

Frank Hamilton Cushing
Zuñi Fetiches, by Frank
Hamilton Cushing

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Title: Zuñi Fetiches Second Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology
to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1880-1881, Government
Printing Office, Washington, 1883, pages 3-45
Author: Frank Hamilton Cushing
Release Date: December 9, 2006 [EBook #20067]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

Produced by Verity White, Carlo Traverso and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net (This file was produced
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Transcriber's Note: [n,] represents a small eng. [N,] represents a capital
eng. [´n] represents a small n with a superior acute. [oe] represents an
oe ligature. ['] represents a prime.
* * * * *

Zuñi philosophy 9 Worship of animals 11 Origin of Zuñi Fetichism 12
The Zuñi Iliad 12 The Drying of the World 13 Power of the Fetiches 15
Prey Gods of the Six Regions 16 Their origin 16 Pó-shai-a[n,]-k'ia 16
Their power as mediators 18 Mí-tsi 18 Their worship 19 Prey Gods of
the Hunt 20 Their relation to the others 20 Their origin 20 The
distribution of the animals 21 Their varieties 24 The Mountain
Lion--Hunter God of the North 25 The Coyote--Hunter God of the
West 26 The Wild Cat--Hunter God of the South 27 The Wolf--Hunter
God of the East 28 The Eagle--Hunter God of the Upper Regions 29
The Mole--Hunter God of the Lower Regions 30 The Ground Owl and
the Falcon 30 Their relative values 30 Their custodian 31 The rites of
their worship 32 The Day of the Council of the Fetiches 32
Ceremonials of the hunt 33 Their power 39 Prey Gods of the
Priesthood of the Bow 40 The Knife-Feathered Monster, the Mountain
Lion, and the Great White Bear 40 Their resemblance to the Prey Gods
of the Hunt 41 The rites of their worship 41 Other Fetiches 44 Fetiches
of Navajo origin 44 The pony 44 The sheep 44 Amulets and charms 44


Plate I.--Prey God fetiches 12 II.--Prey God fetiches of the Six Regions
16 III.--Prey God fetiches of the hunt 20 IV.--Mountain Lion fetiches
of the chase 24 V.--Coyote fetiches of the chase 26 VI.--Wild Cat
fetiches of the chase 27 VII.--Wolf fetiches of the chase 28 VIII.--Eagle
fetiches of the chase 29 IX.--Mole and Ground Owl fetiches 30
X.--Shield and fetich of the Priesthood of the Bow 40 XI.--Shield and
fetich of the Priesthood of the Bow 40
Fig 1.--Concretion 45 2.--Mineral fetich 45 3.--Fossil fetich 56


The Á-shi-wi, or Zuñis, suppose the sun, moon, and stars, the sky, earth,
and sea, in all their phenomena and elements; and all inanimate objects,
as well as plants, animals, and men, to belong to one great system of
all-conscious and interrelated life, in which the degrees of relationship
seem to be determined largely, if not wholly, by the degrees of
resemblance. In this system of life the starting point is man, the most
finished, yet the lowest organism; at least, the lowest because most
dependent and least mysterious. In just so far as an organism, actual or
imaginary, resembles his, is it believed to be related to him and
correspondingly mortal; in just so far as it is mysterious, is it
considered removed from him, further advanced, powerful, and
immortal. It thus happens that the animals, because alike mortal and
endowed with similar physical functions and organs, are considered
more nearly related to man than are the gods; more nearly related to the
gods than is man, because more mysterious, and characterized by
specific instincts and powers which man does not of himself possess.
Again, the elements and phenomena of nature, because more
mysterious, powerful and immortal, seem more closely related to the
higher gods than are the animals; more closely related to the animals

than are the higher gods, because their manifestations often resemble
the operations of the former.
In consequence of this, and through the confusion of the subjective
with the objective, any element or phenomenon in nature, which is
believed to possess a personal existence, is endowed with a personality
analogous to that of the animal whose operations most resemble its
manifestation. For instance, lightning is often given the form of a
serpent, with or without an arrow-pointed tongue, because its course
through the
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