The Zuni tribe was the second tribe of Native Americans to learn silver working and incorporate it into their jewelry. They quickly mastered the Navajo cluster-work technique, which evolved into the popular petite point or needlepoint style. However, modern Zuni artists are best known for their use of inlay, bold colors, and animal shapes.
The most common type of jewelry associated with the Zuni tribe are animal fetishes. Often worn for religious or ceremonial purposes, it is believed that when you wear a fetish you are imbued with the essence of the animal you wear. However, since most Zuni jewelry wearers are not Native American the fetish shapes have branched out from the traditional religious totems and into a variety of different animals. Traditionally, multiple fetishes are strung on a coarse coral cord called heishe.