Zuñi Fetiches

Frank Hamilton Cushing
Zu?i Fetiches, by Frank Hamilton Cushing

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Title: Zu?i 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 from images generously made available by the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF/Gallica) at http://gallica.bnf.fr)

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.
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Zu?i philosophy 9 Worship of animals 11 Origin of Zu?i Fetichism 12 The Zu?i 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 Zu?is, 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 sky is serpentine, its stroke instantaneous and destructive; yet it is named Wí-lo-lo-a-ne, a word derived not from the name of the serpent itself, but from that
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