Old Town Albuquerque is just a great place to walk around and explore. There are tons of nifty shops with all kinds of handicrafts made by local artisans. One item we became obsessed with on our trip were “fetishes”. These are little animals carved out of stone or natural substances like horn or bone. They are carved by Native American artisans of the various local tribes like the Zuni or the Navajo. Different animals are said to embody different qualities and so when the tribespeople wanted to acquire the attributes of those animals they would carry that animal fetish with them. I bought one for each of my children and at the end of the trip wrote them a note as to why I chose that particular animal for that child. Later at the Taos pueblo I purchased some little handmade buckskin bags and put the note and the fetish inside and gave them to my children when we got home. The fetishes are very collectible, but just like the turquoise be wary of fakes-I am convinced now that one that I bought feels like plastic though I was told it was carved out of “jet”. Besides the ones for my kids, I also bought a few to take home and they are on a shelf in my family room next to some of the other goodies we’ve collected on our various trips.