This jet bear (we think it's a bear, but the tail is a bit long) has a signature on the bottom that we can't quite make out. It is "A T...." and also has "Zuni" carved in. It has a nicely carved turquoise arrowhead on the side.
1" H x 3" L x .75" W
Bears are respected and revered by many Indigenous people. In Zuni Pueblo, the bear is the guardian of the west, which is where spirits go when people pass away. They are associate with power, strength, protection and healing. Some say that humans learned which plants to eat when sick by watching what the bears ate when they were sick.
Each Zuni fetish comes in a box with a descriptive card and a tiny bit of corn meal to tide them over until they reach you.
This carving was part of a large collection of Zuni carvings which were purchased between 1998 and 2016.