Bryans Gallery

Southwest Native American Arts and Jewelry in Taos since 1982



Zuni Fetish by Gibbs Othole, Sonoran Sunrise buffalo with mother of pearl and turquoise spirit bundle and inlaid turquoise eyes.

Approx: 1.5" x 2.5" x .5”.

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Zuni Fetish by Gibbs Othole, Sonoran Sunrise buffalo with mother of pearl and turquoise spirit bundle and inlaid turquoise eyes.

Approx: 1.5" x 2.5" x .5”.

Gibbs Othole

Gibbs Othole started out his career as a silversmith circa 1980. He switched to fetish carving in the 1990s. His carvings are traditional, and are done in very fine materials. As the elder member of the current Othole family, he has been very influential on numerous family members and neighbors.Gibbs is a very religious man and has many religious duties for the Zuni Tribe. His religion shows in his carvings. Gibbs has described his process. He starts with a vision of what he plans to carve, based on what he sees in the stone specimen to be carved. As he works, other ideas may appear to him, changing the form that the carving will take. He ascribes it to the stone taking over and dictating the result.

Fetishes and Their Meanings

Armadillo - Slow, sure, in no hurry, gets things right, keeper of the home
Badger - Boldness, perseverance, individuality, “South”
Bat -Guardian of the night, cleaner
Bear -Strength, introspection, power of the soul, lightens emotional burdens, “West”
Beaver- Builder, strong sense of family & home, Keeper of the waterways
Bobcat - (Lynx) - Secrets, Clairvoyance, in tune with higher self
Buffalo - Endurance to overcome, great emotional courage, provider of all
Coyote - Trickster, associated with laughter, humor. Works well in a group
Deer - Great power of gentleness
Dolphin - Clairvoyance, trust, loyalty and the spirit of friendship
Eagle -Creator, teacher, loyalty, great integrity, spirit connection to the divine. “Sky”
Elk - Strength, agility and freedom
Fish - Purifier, character, ability to hide emotions
Fox -Camouflage, protection, ingenuity, quickness, great passion
Frog -Cleansing, rainmaker, silently warns of danger, associated with abundance
Hawk - Messenger of the sky, observer
Horned Toad -Self-reliance, longevity, protects ancestral bounty
Horse - Protector of the flocks, power, swiftness, strength, enlightenment, possesses healing powers
Hummingbird - Messenger, stopper of time
Lizard - Dreamer, conservation, agility
Mole - Amplifies connection with the earth, protects the fields “Underground”
Moose - Headstrong, unstoppable, longevity
Mountain Lion - Leadership, resourcefulness, great courage, high standards “North”
Mouse - Timid, secretive, sneaky
Owl - Clairvoyance, wisdom, patience, mental endurance, keeper of the night
Otter - Laughter, curiosity, mischievous
Rabbit - Virtue, serenity, quiet talent, restrained passion
Raccoon - Bandit, shy resourceful
Ram - Sense of self-worth, assures an increase in flocks
Raven - Magic, trickster, teacher, hoarder
Seal - Family oriented, possesses power in numbers
Sheep - Charity, elegance, passion, best at the arts, talents bring riches
Skunk - Wary, conspicuous, intense
Snake - Transmutation, life, death, rebirth
Squirrel - Natural intelligence, saver, protects reserves
Swan - Grace, ability to see the future, intuition
Turkey - Smart, elusive, festive
Turtle - Longevity, fertility, symbol of Mother Earth, home and reliability
Whale - Record keeper, carrier of history, understanding
Wolf - Teacher, family oriented, warm, deeply spiritual, pathfinder, “East”