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February 24, 1991|C. S.

THE FETISH CARVERS OF ZUNI by Marian Rodee & James Ostler (University of New Mexico Press: $16.95). The Zuni tradition of carving small, stone animal charms to protect their dwellings, crops, flocks and families is at least 1,500 years old. But the burgeoning interest in the Southwest and Native American crafts during the '80s suddenly created a market for the tiny fetish figures. This concise, handsome book offers an overview of the artisan families who have adapted what was once a religious art to incorporate new styles (non-Zuni buyers prefer more realistic sculptures), subjects (dinosaurs, giraffes, moose and other animals outside the traditional canon) and previously unavailable materials (including malachite, amber and fossil walrus ivory).

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