Veneration and use of natural or prepared material objects (fetishes) imbued with special potency (mana) for purposes of averting evil effects or acquiring values. Essentially, fetishism is the attribution of inherent value or powers to an object.
Theoretically, fetishism is present in all religions, but its use in the study of religion is derived from studies of traditional West African religious beliefs, as well as Voodoo, which is derived from those beliefs. Blood is often considered a particularly powerful fetish or ingredient in fetishes. In addition to blood, other objects and substances, such as bones, fur, claws, feathers, gemstones and crystals, water from certain places, certain types of plants and wood are common fetishes in the traditions of cultures worldwide. Fetishes were commonly used in Native American religion and practice. The bear represented the shaman, the buffalo was the provider, the mountain lion was the warrior, and the wolf was the pathfinder.