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Harold Davidson

A Navajo artist recognized for his finely detailed alabaster table fetishes, Harold Davidson captures the beauty of Mother Earth in the animals he creates. Davidson’s most common subjects are charming domestic animals: horses, sheep, goats, and quail—all in an abstract, yet winningly realistic manner. Carved in a variety of sizes, Davidson decorates each piece with radiant feathers attached by colorful beads.

Navajo fetishes represent a specific area of Navajo art and culture, often misunderstood and sometimes misrepresented. It is assumed by many that Navajo fetishes exit purely for commercial reasons, however, the tradition of fetish use by the Navajo people is to carry a fetish in a personal pollen sack or as part of a jish, the sacred bundles used by Navajo medicine people. Jish is best described as the Navajo medicine man’s equivalent to a Western doctor’s “little black bag.” Even though all the elements of a jish are not used in every ceremony, the complete contents are required to be present at every ceremony.

Navajo people take great pride in their livestock. Harold Davidson is one of the finest Navajo fetish carvers working today. He follows the tradition of creating the protective livestock figures as well as the more exotic bears and bison. His carvings are beautifully executed with distinctive details wrought in their favorite pipestone and alabaster materials.