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Peace Pipes a Briefing

Tuesday, August 6, 2013 8:31:22 AM America/Phoenix


The use of the peace pipe was held sacred by Indians. Usually it was used in ceremonies of religious, political, or social nature. The decorations on the pipe's bowl and stem, and even the method of holding or passing the pipe on to the next person, held great ceremonial significance. The pipe was never laid on the ground. To smoke it was a signal that the smoker gave his pledge of honor. It is also believed that the smoke made one think clearly and endowed him with great wisdom. In a treaty ceremony, the pipe usually was passed around to everyone, even before the speeches were made and the problems discussed.  Some pipes were made out of wood, clay or bone. But the most popular were made out of pipe stone (catlinite) mined in the pipestone quarries of Minnesota. These red stone quarries were considered sacred by the Dakotas (Sioux), and were traditionally neutral ground for all tribes. Indians traveled many miles to get this pipestone, and it was a medium of barter between various tribes. The stone was so soft that it could be cut and worked into designs with a knife when freshly quarried. Some pipes were inlaid with lead. It is said that some of the Indian raids on small western town newspapers were made by the Indians to get type lead with which to inlay their pipes.

Comments | Posted in Native American Decor Peace PIpes By Ken Adams

Biggest Sale EVER

Saturday, June 29, 2013 9:45:27 AM America/Phoenix

Alltribes Indian Art is offering our customers the greatest sale ever held. From now until July 7th at midnight, Alltribes Indian Art will be offering 35% off of everything in the store.

Hopi Kachina Dolls Part Two

Monday, May 13, 2013 1:05:11 PM America/Phoenix

....And so you will say, "Ah yes, a kachina is a masked character but who is he, what is he, and what is the big significance?" A Hopi Indian will tell you that a kachina is a supernatural being who is impersonated by a man wearing a mask, and he wil add that the kachinas live on the San Francisco Peaks, near flagstaff, Arizona and on other high mountains. A kachina has three aspects; the supernatural being as he exists in the minds of the Hopis; the masked impersonator of the supernatural being, who appears in the kivas and plazas; and the small dolls carved in the same likeness. The first two aspects are termed Kachinas and the latter, kachina dolls. Since Kachina dolls, with we are primarily concerned, depend for their significance upon the masked impersonations, we must consider kachinas first.

Turquois Use in the Early 1900's

Thursday, March 14, 2013 1:34:35 PM America/Phoenix

This is an expert taken from the book "Turquois" written in 1915, by Joseph Pogue, Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences. Note the spelling of Turquoise is turquois in 1915. This is Part 1 in a 10 Part series so check back next week.

The turquois is today in wide use among Indians of the Southwest, and it forms one of their most cherished possessions. As in the past, it still finds a ceremonial as well as an ornamental application.

The Pueblo Indians find great pleasure in turquois and seldom is a well-to-do representative seen without ornaments of this material. Especially upon gala occasions and during ceremonies is this stone in evidence, and both sexes bedizen themselves with quantities of it. The turquois is most commonly fashioned into discodial and cylindrical beads and into various-size pendants of oblong, triangular, and keystone outline. The work is performed by rubbing the material on sandstone and polishing on finer material, and the turquoise objects are perforated with a bow-drill, usually tipped with a fragment of quartz or flint. The workmanship is rather crude and the finished piece is seldom symmetrical or highly polished. The beads are usually strung on cord, but sometimes on wire, and one or more strands of turquois are used for turquois necklaces, turquois bracelets, and more rarely turquois ear ornaments (earrings). Discoidal beads are most common; in some strands of turquois these alternate with cylindrical shapes, and pendants may be in inserted, especially towards the center, to give variety. Beads of coral and white shell are often combined with the turquois, although their introduction lessens the value of the string. Turquois pendants are frequently worn alone, suspended from the ears; indeed this is perhaps the most common ornament seen in the Southwest.

Silversmithing and Silver

Wednesday, June 20, 2012 1:58:25 PM America/Phoenix

In addition to tools required for silversmithing, the silver itself is necessary. The old-time Native American silversmith liked coin silver. The old pesos that the Native Indian silversmiths melted for their jewelry probably were of a good grade of silver. The pesos issued for some years previous and until about 1940 were 0.720 fine and could be used for jewelry. These pesos were 1 5/16", in diameter. Then in about 1947 two new coins were struck. a one-peso piece and a five peso piece. The one peso is 0.500 fine and 1 1/4" in diameter. The five peso is of a good quality of silver, marked 0.900. However, coin silver in sheet from can be obtained from some firms, but sterling silver is stocked wherever jewelers' supplies are sold. Pure silver is too soft for ordinary jewelry work except for bezels. Sterling silver is an alloy of 925 parts pure silver and 75 parts copper, and is known as 925-1000 fine. Sterling silver comes in sheet and wire form. Sterling can be had in thickness of 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, and 26 Brown & Sharp gauge, the smallest number being the thickest metal.


For ordinary work, it is well to buy some 16, 18, and 20 gauge silver perhaps 6 inches wide by whatever length is required. The 6 inch width is suggested because that is the usual length for a bracelet, and that is about the longest piece of silver that will be used for making in Indian jewelry. Twenty-gauge silver is just about 1/32 inches thick, while 16 gauge is about 3/64 inch thick. A piece of 26 gauge silver should be bought for making bezels. Bezels are the little rims soldered to jewelry to hold turquoise or other stones. B & S 26 gauge silver is about 1/64 inches thick. Silver usually is sold by weight, but in ordering, it is customary to state the gauge and the dimensions desired.


Silver wire should also be on hand. This comes in thicknesses ranging from 14 to 30 B. & S. gauge. If a draw plate is among the equipment, the buying of wire is generally simplified as one gauge of wire is all that is necessary because the smaller sizes can be drawn as needed.


It is always easier to work with annealed silver. Silver wire usually comes annealed, but it is sometimes necessary to anneal sheet silver. Hammering silver rends to harden it, and drawing wire through a draw plate also hardens it. For this reason, wire is usually pulled through two holes and then coiled, heated, and immersed in cold water or a pickle solution before drawing it thinner or shaping it.

Comments | Posted in Navajo Jewelry By Ken Adams

"Squash Blossom" a Brief History

Monday, May 7, 2012 12:12:39 PM America/Phoenix

History of the Squash Blossom

The unique squash blossom necklace originated by the Navajo from three foreign elements. The silver beads were evidently evolved from two button halves soldered together to make a bead. The buttons were from Spanish clothing decoration. The "squash blossom" was evidently copied from the silver pomegranate blossom seen on the trousers of men from Granada, Spain. The Naja or Crescent shaped pendant was borrowed from the Spanish horse headstall or bridle which in turn was adopted from the Moors who probably got it by way of the Middle east, possibly Mongolia. It was known in many early civilizations; the earliest are solid gold najas found in stone age graves in Ireland. Whatever the origins, the Navajo had the great ability to combine these elements into a beautiful piece of jewelry and the other Indians of the Southwest improved upon it. The Navajo called the squash blossoms themselves "Beads Which Spreads Out"

Turquoise in Indian Jewelry

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 8:46:17 AM America/Phoenix

Inlay Stone Cutting

In the early years Indian jewelry was made with very little or no turquoise. It was not until the mid 1940's that turquoise was a mainstay in Indian jewelry. Not to say that turquoise was not used before this time frame; it was mainly just silver work. Today, to the Indian silversmith, using turquoise in jewelry is almost as necessary as the silver itself. In a lot of Zuni jewelry silver is really just something that holds the turquoise. Most poor turquoise is light light blue and sometimes even white and extremely soft and chalky. Most silversmiths use rich blue stones that are hard and durable. Turquoise can be treated in different ways depending on the methods used by the lapidary or silversmith. Not to be misunderstood, it is almost essential to maintain the deep colors and to maintain the stability of the stone. Even when stones are treated, most of the time the stone is still 99% turquoise. If stones go untreated, over time they will change color and more often than not fall apart at some point.

Turquoise can come from all over the American Southwest, Middle East, Africa and China. Most turquoise used in the Southwest comes from New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona and Colorado. Over the years several mines have opened and closed and most of what is being sold on the open market is coming from Nevada and Arizona. Nevada turquoise usually has a wide variety of greenish blues and most from Arizona is known for it's blueish greens. Because of time and costs, a lot of hobbyist are purchasing stones already cut into cabs to save them the trouble of cutting stones. Fortunately at Alltribes we have a lapidary shop and have the pleasure of working with some of the best stone cutters in the business. This is a craft that most silversmiths used to do themselves but lapidary work and silversmithing have separated themselves as different talents over the years. Cutting and polishing stones has become a craft in itself and it takes many years and a lot of patience to create and learn the everlasting gemstone we love called turquoise. Watching a great stone cutter is simply fascinating if you have never seen it done. Especially when it is being cut for inlay turquoise jewelry.

Dream Catchers

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 2:43:05 PM America/Phoenix

Native American 4 inch Red Buckskin Trade Bead Feathered Traditional Dreamcatcher By Mark Kasuse

Dream catchers are originally a native artifact from the Ojibwa nation. Native mothers would use various threads, such as sinew and yarn and would die it red. They would wrap the threads on wooden hoops and place them or weave them into baby cradle boards. This spider web form would capture anything that may try to pass through. Weather it be harm or sickness or bad feelings and thoughts this would protect them. The dream catcher would also filter out all the bad dreams.

Navajo Veteran A True Story

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 1:54:30 PM America/Phoenix

Navajo Veterans

Usually when we think about Native American veterans, we may think of the Navajo Code Talkers, or the Cherokee Code Talkers of the Great War, or Ira Hayes of Arizona that helped raise the American Flag in Iwo Jima. I would like to introduce you to Joe Kieyoomia an Army soldier that was captured by the Japanese in the Philippines in 1942. Ironically enough Joe was in artillery, as was I in the Marine Corps. Nonetheless, Here is a Navajo veteran whom the Japanese tortured miserably because he was Navajo, and they wanted him to break the Navajo Code talkers code. This Army soldier resoundingly explained to the Japanese that in fact it was all gibberish to him because they used the Navajo language but the code made no sense. There were only a few Navajo's that were designated to decipher the code. Outlasting the torture, not only did Joe survive the Bataan Death march where thousands of our veterans perished, Joe survived the Nagasaki atomic bomb while being held up in a cement cell. Over three years of torture Joe was finally released and lived out his days until 1997. In an interview stated, "Even if I knew about their code, I wouldn't tell the Japanese." What a veteran! While in college, I had the opportunity to go to lunch with two of the original Navajo Code talkers, what an experience. I hope that with Veterans Day in the near future, we thank, admire and continue to support all of our great soldiers that continue to fight for our freedom both past and present.

Comments | Posted in News By Ken Adams

Alltribes Launches Facebook Store

Friday, October 28, 2011 12:49:42 PM America/Phoenix

Alltribes Native American Art is glad to present it's new FACEBOOK PRESENCE! With the help of Wholesale Internet Solutions LLC. Alltribes has always set the bar. Having owned stores all over the American Southwest, Alltribes Indian Art has been the leader and pacesetter online for over 16 years. With Navajo, Hopi and Zuni artists on site, we manufacture and offer some of the finest Native American Jewelry and art on the internet. In addition to providing the web community with excellent Native American made products Alltribes also has a huge warehouse and retail shopping store located in Gilbert Arizona.  

Comments | Posted in News By Ken Adams

New Turquoise Jewelry Collection

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 1:10:13 PM America/Phoenix

This unbelievable Antique Vintage Native American Jewelry Collection is from the personal collection of Barbra Felsot. Felsot had been in the Native American art and jewelry business for over 40 years, and only purchased the "best of the best" for her own personal collection. Upon her passing, Felsot's husband Mel offered to let us choose 100 extraordinary pieces to add to our already incredible inventory. The rest of her collection will be sold to Native American museums. Mrs. Felsots collection features some of the finest Royston, Carico Lake, Kingman, and Landers turquoise ever put into jewelry. These pieces range from concho belts, squash blossoms, cuff bracelets and rings. Don't miss out on this wonderful opportunity! These pieces of Americana will only increase in value over time.


This mosaic inlay full Rainbow Man Zuni Squash Blossom Necklace was hand crafted by Zuni Artists Herbert and Esther Cellicion, husband and wife. It was first purchased in 1974. The Cellicion's pieces are among the finest hand crafted Native American Zuni Inlay work in the Southwest. Each featured piece in this set is adorned with genuine Sleeping Beauty Turquoise, black jet, mother of pearl, Mediterranean coral, gold lip and shell abalone. The abalone is a tell tale sign that this piece is truly collectible. It is extremely rare to find abalone complementing Native American jewelry and was often used by the traditional Zuni silversmiths.


This Zuni Squash Blossom Necklace set features ten squash blossoms measuring 1 3/4" by 1 1/4" and are strung together with 8mm seam beads. The featured naja measures 4" by 2 1/2" and centers the masterpiece perfectly. This Zuni Rainbow Man Kachina Necklace measures 30" from end to end and uses a traditional hook and eye closer.


The Zuni cuff bracelet is perfectly matched with the necklace set and features the Rainbow Man Kachina surrounded by hand cut mosaics on a three wire cuff. This Zuni inlaid bracelet measures 2" tall and 2 5/8" wide. It will fit a size 5 1/2" to 7" wrist.


Not to be out done, this set also features a beautiful broach pendant, which is extremely rare, as part of a Native American Zuni Squash Blossom Set. Herbert and Esther created this extra addition which measures 1 1/2" by 1 1/4". Hallmarked and signed this broach pendant can be worn as a pendant or with the fastening pin attached.


A great addition to this Rainbow Man Kachina Squash Blossom are the Zuni Earrings which measure 1 1/2" by 1 1/4" and hang appropriately from 10mm seam beads adorned with a turquoise stone. These post earrings are the perfect addition to this Zuni Necklace Set


The final piece to this Rainbow Man Zuni Squash Blossom Set is a Zuni Ring. The Mosaic Inlay finish is adorned with all the trimmings and measures 1 1/2" by 1 1/4" and the ring will fit a size 9.


Rainbow Man Kachinas, a Zuni symbol, is the Kachina of harmony. This is a sign of the Great Mystery that gives humans the privilege of roaming this great planet. Herbert and Esther Cellion's master craftsmanship is extremely organized. Herbert used Turquoise, Black Jet, both white and Gold Lip, Mother of Pearl and Mediterranean Coral with was first purchased in 1974.

Pima Basket Information

Monday, October 17, 2011 3:44:31 PM America/Phoenix

Genuine Small Papago Olla Basket

The most common traditional shape of the Pima Basket was a fairly shallow bowl with a slightly rounded bottom and flaring sides, approximately fifteen inches in diameter and five inches in height. This was ideal for important task of winnowing and parching wheat. The size of the basket varied considerably for use in other household chores, such as collecting and preparing squash, pumpkins, roots, beans, wild spinach, and fruits of the various cacti. A very special deep large basket was used to hold tiswin, a liquor made from the saguaro fruit. This was gathered in June, the harvest marking the beginning of the Pima year.

As an old Pima woman once said, "They used to line the basket with mesquite pitch so they could put liquor in it. They would put the stew in a large basket, and everyone would dip in with their hands, even the children. People put back in the bowl what they couldn't eat. They would take all the bones and dry them up on the roof and use them again. They still had their flavor. They were not afraid of flies in those days.


Baskets were also carried on the head in the Basket Dance. These were not used for food.

The utilitarian baskets have long ago been abandoned for the more easily obtained metal kitchen wares, although the traditional shapes are still woven for the tourist or collectors. Other forms, such as plaques, shallow or deep bowls with straight sides, narrow necked ollas and minature baskets are examples of experimentations by the weavers.

Comments | Posted in Native American Decor By Ken Adams

The Kokopelli Kachina Doll

Friday, October 7, 2011 8:48:02 AM America/Phoenix

Kokopelli Hopi Kachina Doll Milton Howard

Undoubtedly Kokopelli, the Hump-backed flute player, has caught the imagination of more people than any other Hopi Kachina except perhaps the Hemis Kachina Doll. Some of that interest is because he is so blatantly phallic in nature, but beyond this he appears in every nook and cranny of the Southwest. His image is found in all of the pueblos and among the southern Indians as well. He dances happily around a Hohokam pot and chases mountain sheep through the canyons of the San Juan. There is always speculation about what inspired this particular personification. Ties with Mexico and even South America have been suggested for he appears in all these places. Among the Hopis he is a flute player only when he borrows a flutr to dance. Usually he appears in the mixed Kachina Dances or Sometimes in a night dance. Despite these relatively minor appearances, he is thought of as a seducer of girls, a bringer of babies, a tutelary of hunting, and an excellent subject for the carving of kachina dolls.

Comments | Posted in Kachina Dolls By Ken Adams

Old Pawn Jewelry Treasure

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 9:54:49 AM America/Phoenix

Vintage Native American Ithaca Peak Turquoise Bracelet

Old Pawn is a treasure in old Native American Jewelry and personal adornment from the Felsot private collection of bracelets, rings, and necklaces. This old pawn jewelry collection features some of the most noted Native American artists in the industry during it's peak years of the 1960's and 1970's. Contrary to different opinions, old pawn was not made only for pawn. Old pawn is not merely a turquoise piece that a Native American Indian needed for money. The Old Pawn surge was brought on by true romantic urge. The value and emotional attraction for old pawn Native American Jewelry is it has to be worn, used and appreciated by its owners and collectors. Mrs. Felsot was exactly that, a true collector that knew and appreciated collectible old pawn

Comments | Posted in Old Pawn Jewelry By Ken Adams

Zuni Jewelry Designs

Monday, September 26, 2011 2:04:43 PM America/Phoenix

Jake Livingston Zuni Ring

Jewelry made by the Zuni Native American Indians covers a wide range of Southwestern styles and designs. However, while it varies greatly its basic inlaid styling makes it uniquely different than jewelry made in the other parts of the world. Although some countries have a lower labor standard than the United States which leads to attempts at copying popular Zuni jewelry, the reproduction of Zuni styles in those countries has never been successful on a large scale. Zuni Inlay jewelry such as the Old Pawn Jewelry Ring pictured by renowned silversmith Jake Livingston are one of a kind.

Comments | Posted in Turquoise Jewelry Zuni Jewelry By Ken Adams

Quick Basket Story

Monday, September 26, 2011 12:54:26 PM America/Phoenix

O'odham Basket

The O’odham mainly focus on Southwestern basketry. Native American baskets originally, like pottery, were completely utilitarian, and were being constructed well before pottery. Discoveries of Hohokam baskets go back 1300 years and were probably being made in the area well before that. Unfortunately baskets biodegrade while fired pottery lasts for ages which is why you come across Southwestern pottery well before Southwestern Native American Indian Baskets. O’odham baskets are still being made the same way they were years ago using the same techniques and materials. The only thing that changed was a few natural materials such as; willows and the yucca became more often used. During the late 19th century the tourist began buying, selling and trading and the demand for these Native American Indian baskets greatly increased.

Comments | Posted in Native American Decor By Ken Adams
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