The History of Zuni Fetishes
According to the Second Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology as submitted by Frank Hamilton Cushing in 1881, the Zuni world is made up of 6 regions or directions. At the center of each region is a great mountain peak that is a very sacred place.
Yellow mountain to the north, blue mountain to the west, red mountain to the south, white mountain to the east, the multicolored mountain above, and the black mountain below.
Each direction is represented by a "Prey God", or guardian animal, and are listed by Cushing as follows:
- North—the yellow mountain lion
- West—the black bear (represented by the color blue)
- South—the red badger
- East—the white wolf
- The sky (upper)—the multicolored eagle
- The underground (lower)—the black mole.
Each one of these regions contains an order of all the guardian animals, but the "guardian and master" of a particular region is the elder brother to all animals of that region. These guardians are considered having protective and healing powers. They are held by the priests of the medicine orders as if "in captivity" and act as mediators between the priests and the animals they represent.
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