NEW Zuni fetishes @ - 08/20/08 NOON

Greetings! Thank you so much for the responsive answer to our "please sign up for this e-blog thing". Most of our old mailing list has now re-enlisted for the new Zuni Spirits e-blog. And we thank you! So here's hoping it works perfectly to let you know that we're adding 16 new Zuni fetishes to the website at noon (CDST) today. Here's what is coming up: There are some nice stones in this showing and carvings by Lena Boone, Hayes Leekya, Calvert Bowannie, Herb Halate, Bernard Homer, Jr., Carol Martinez and others. We hope you'll tune in.
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Madhav Ghimiri Foundation scholarship recipient THE JOURNEY OF THE BEARS I am so pleased and grateful to announce that we now have promises of over 70 Zuni fetishes which will be enroute later this year to Nepal. Your generosity and compassion for the young girls sponsored by the Madhav Ghimire Foundation is making this possible. Dr. Jeffrey Kottler, founder of the organization will be traveling to Nepal in December. And with him -- 100 of your beloved Zuni fetishes which will be distributed to the teachers and students in celebration of their achievements and to encourage them to continue their studies. These young girls come from the poorest of families and often the cost of educating them is too great a burden. Many times, the young girls are sold because the family simply cannot afford to feed and house them. For one hundred dollars, the Madhav Ghimire Foundation can pay the tuition, purchase uniforms, books and supplies for one school girl for a year. Just that nominal amount of money will provide her with an education and a more secure future for herself, her family and ultimately, her community. We encourage you to read more about this important volunteer organization and assist them in their efforts. Dr. Kottler has promised to send us photos of the recipients with their Zuni fetishes and we'll be posting them here early next year.
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PUEBLO BIRDS AND MYTHS by Hamilton Tyler 1991 Northland Publishing Co., Flagstaff, AZ This is a book that I have had for years and really enjoy reading. If you are a bird lover (and I already know that you appreciate puebloan culture!) I think it is a book that you would also enjoy. It's available at and you can even purchase used copies very inexpensively. Birds are very important in Zuni. Their feathers are used for prayer sticks and other ceremonies. Only native species are used for sacred purposes but other introduced birds (guinea, peacock, macaw, pheasant) may be used on masks and costumes. There are 73 birds that migrate through the Zuni region. Sixty-six are used ceremonially, three are taboo and sixteen are used only by religious elders. Boys are taught at an early age which birds are used for specific purposes so that their "collections" go to the proper person in the Pueblo. Eagles were once captured and kept for their feathers but now feathers are collected at the Zuni Eagle Sanctuary and dispensed for religious purposes. Macaws were traded from Mexico and during excavations at Chaco canyon, entire rooms were found with the carcasses of macaws that were kept for ritual use by the priests of these ancient communities. The last Zuni captive macaw from Mexico was given to a Sun Priest in 1920. It spoke Zuni and knew the names of about a dozen members of the community. Though they are rarely used today, Edmund J. Ladd presents diagrams in his master's thesis from 1963 (published in STARS ABOVE EARTH BELOW, 1998, Roberts Rhinehart Publishers, Niwok CO in association with the Carnegie Institute, Carnegie Museum of Natural History) the various snares used to capture the required sacred birds. For example, horsehair loops were tied to the mountain bee plant to ensnare the feet of hummingbirds. Dr. Ladd goes on to say in the conclusion of his thesis that "objects made for ritual and ceremonial use by the A:shiwi were never meant to be preserved, replicated for exhibition or collected for other uses. These offerings are made to the spirit beings, the ancestors, in the belief that they will be received in the afterworld only by disintegrating into the earth and air. In this way they benefit the individual and the world and provide spiritual protection, abundant rain, snow, good harvest, and, most especially, "a long and healthy road." Here's wishing you all a "long and healthy road." Till next time!

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