Southwest tribal miniature carvings that some say are imbued with spirit forces. Indian fetishes are hand-carved objects, which represent the spirits of animals or the forces of nature. From the earliest times in North America, the Indians have used fetishes in an effort to master the arbitrary and unpredictable forces beyond their control. The earliest fetishes are called Ahlashiwe or stone zuni fetish of the east
by the Zunis. They were naturally formed stones that seemed to resemble people or animals, sometimes made more realistic with the features accentuated by a carver. They are considered more powerful and were formerly thought to be ancient animals or people turned to stone. All Southwestern tribes make and use fetishes.