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Travel Bug Dog Tag Fetish-Mole TB02

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Friday, 20 March 2015
Texas, United States
Recently Spotted:
In Kalender-Cache

This is not collectible.

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Current GOAL

Please drop this item in rural OR Premium Member Only caches.  Do not place it in an urban cache or abandon it at a caching event.  Transport the bug in the original plastic bag for as long as the bag lasts; this prevents the chain and tag tangling with other items.  Otherwise, take this travel bug anywhere you wish.  No permission needed to leave the U.S.

About This Item


I have a small collection of animal fetish carvings. This is one of a series of travel bugs showing some of my favorite pieces.

Fetishes are an animals or figures carved from natural materials-- stone, minerals, gems, shell, antler, wood, amber, coral, fossil ivory and probably many more. Most of mine are quite small, less than two inches in height or length. Most of my collection is from Zuni artisans (New Mexico), but I also have items from carvers in other western states, including Alaska. The original fetishes were probably some items that just resembled something, a bird maybe, and mystical powers were often ascribed to it. Using primitive tools the distinguishing features were often embellished.

Over centuries there became specialists in fetish carving and it eventually grew into an art form. Leekya Deyuse (a Zuni), made jewelry and fetishes in the 1920s and some of his fetish necklaces are now valued at more than $20,000. However, the average cost per piece in my collection is probably around $65. While many still believe in the power of fetishes, in the present time most them are for sale to tourists and collectors. If you doubt this, just go to the shops in Zuni (and elsewhere) and note the mass production using grinding wheels, belt sanders and Dremel tools.

According to Zuni tradition there are guardian animals of the six directions; these were used in kiva rites. The mole is the guardian from below (the underground). It is perhaps a mystery how the mole became so important to the puebloan peoples of the American southwest, since moles only occur in the east and northwestern parts of the continent. But then again, many of the southwester tribes trace their orgins to Ice Age peoples of the Pacific Northwest.

Some fetishes will have an inlaid turquoise or coral "heartline" extending from the mouth to the center of the body. One of the possible explanations for this heartline is that it represents a time in Zuni mythology when animals totally dominated man. The Great Spirit sent a bolt of lightning that turned all man-eating animals into stone. The lightning is represented in the stone fetish by an inlaid or painted line.

Gallery Images related to Fetish-Mole TB02

View All 3 Gallery Images

Tracking History (9472.2mi) View Map

Dropped Off 03/11/2019 Ynga placed it in Kalender-Cache Baden-Württemberg, Germany - 299.12 miles  Visit Log
Visited 03/07/2019 Ynga took it to 1stHH Hamburg, Germany - 1.67 miles  Visit Log
Visited 03/07/2019 Ynga took it to Waterkant Hamburg, Germany - .53 miles  Visit Log
Visited 03/07/2019 Ynga took it to Hamburger Bananenkreuzer Hamburg, Germany - .21 miles  Visit Log
Visited 03/06/2019 Ynga took it to Hamburger Hafen - St. Pauli Landungsbrücken Hamburg, Germany - .56 miles  Visit Log
Visited 03/06/2019 Ynga took it to Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Germany - 4.36 miles  Visit Log
Visited 03/03/2019 Ynga took it to TB - Schlosshotel Rasthof Stillhorn Ost Hamburg, Germany - 149.55 miles  Visit Log
Visited 03/03/2019 Ynga took it to Das Steingrab, bei Nienhagen Niedersachsen, Germany - 2.49 miles  Visit Log
Visited 03/03/2019 Ynga took it to Opferstein Cache Hessen, Germany - 149.09 miles  Visit Log
Visited 02/20/2019 Ynga took it to Werbung mal anders! Baden-Württemberg, Germany - 3.38 miles  Visit Log
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