Native American Market

Two of the most popular items to buy at a Native American market are jewelry and pottery. Both of these items can be found at Native American markets. However, it is important to note that for an item to be authentic it must be labeled that it is an Authentic American Indian product. This label is protected by the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990. Since the passing of the Act buyers can be assured that items they purchase with the label are the real deal.

The Native American market is known for its unique jewelry. While each tribe had their own unique jewelry making styles, the differences throughout the tribes were really not that great. All of the tribes used the same general materials and tools to make their jewelry. The two most popular forms of jewelry that is sought after at a Native American market is beadwork and metalwork jewelry.

Metalwork jewelry that was made by hammering and etching the metal was fairly common prior to the Europeans settling into the New World.  Once the Native Americans were introduced to silversmithing their metal jewelry became very distinct and detailed.  Beadwork jewelry was very advanced even before the Europeans arrived in the New World. Native American beadwork would sometimes contain thousands of beads made out of wood, bone, coral or shells. The Native American market is stocked with jewelry made by Native Americans who know how to continue the jewelry making traditions of their ancestors.

The other item that is much loved in a Native American market is pottery. It would be impossible to make general statements about Native American pottery. Each tribe has heir own way of making pottery and has their own distinct design, form and colors. If you are looking for old pottery, you should know that the Southwest Indians were able to preserve their pottery better than other Indian tribes. This is due in large part to the fact that these tribes were not forced to relocate. It is also important to note that old pottery was never made on spinning wheels or the instruments we use today to make ceramics. Today’s Native American pottery is still made by hand like it was thousands of years ago. Native American work hard to maintain the diligence that is needed to produce a piece of pottery. Many Native Americans will still excavate their own materials that are used in their pottery making. They will also still use the same age old customs of decorating and firing. By maintaining the old customs of pottery making they are ensuring that their Indian customs will continue to live.

The revenue that is made in the Native American market on the sell of jewelry and pottery greatly aids the Indian communities. Not only has it been a great economic boost for them, but it has also made them gain notoriety for their artistry. There are galleries that showcase American Indian arts and crafts throughout the United States.

Joseph Paige 2006

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