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Native Crafts

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Hand Made Native Crafts

 

Indian Baskets

One of the oldest known Native American Crafts is Basket-weaving. There are Indian baskets from the Southwest that have been identified by archaeologists that go as far back as 8000 years. Different tribes use different materials, basket shapes, weaving techniques, and designs. Baskets from the Northeast Indians, for example, are traditionally made from braided sweet-grass or pounded ash splints. The Cherokee and other Southeast Indian tribes baskets are traditionally made from river-cane wicker or bundled pine needles. The Southwestern Indians traditionally made baskets from tightly coiled willow wood or sumac. The Northwest Indians traditionally wove their Indian baskets with swamp grass, spruce root, and cedar bark. Northern Indian tribes like the Ojibwe and Navajo or Dene' wove their baskets with birch-bark.

Beadwork

Our collection of beadwork features authenticated Native American artists that we can provide verification of authenticity.

Native American Indian beadwork is a very popular item in anyone's collection. Intricately beaded pieces of clothing, moccasins, and ceremonial head dresses are striking, and make a nice addition to any Native American Indian collection.

Historic pieces of Native American Indian beadwork may be found in museums across the country. These exhibits include fabulous displays of early bead work with beads made from seeds, beans, nuts, shells, bones, teeth, rocks, quills, claws, pearls, turquoise, coral, silver, gold, and other natural items.

Native American Sticks

 

Talking Sticks

Talking sticks were ceremonial items that were used in Native North American Indian tribe council meetings. They were used as a courtesy not to interrupt a chief when he was speaking. The talking stick was then passed to the each council member who wished to speak. In order to show significance, the talking stick was decorated with eagle feathers and crystals to show its significance.

Today, it is used still by many groups, especially in groups of children or adults who need help preventing discussions from degenerating into loud often times harsh language with everyone interrupting.

Rainstick

The rainstick is a long, hollow tube that is filled with small baubles such as beads, rice, cactus needles, or beans and has small pins arranged helically on its inside surface. When the rainstick is upended, the items inside fall to the other end of the tube and make a sound reminiscent of a rainstorm as they bounce off the pins.

Generally, the rainstick is used to create atmospheric sound effects or as a percussion instrument.

The rainstick is considered to have been invented in South America's Chile, and was played in the belief that it could bring about rainstorms.

Turtle Shell Rattle
The turtle shell rattle is used in the Turtle Shell dance as an accompaniment to the singing and to mark the time. In most Native American Indian dances, except for the war dance, the singers are seated in the center of the room, and the dancers pass by them in an arched line. The Turtle Shell dancers strike upon a bench with their turtle shell rattles as they pass by while singing. Sometimes, the striking may be as frequent as three times per second.

Kindred Spirit Masks

Kindred Spirit Mask Native American Indian Masks such as our Kindred Spirit masks have been part of dance regalia and traditional ceremonies in many Indian tribes since ancient times. The most notable of the native mask-makers were the Northwest Coast Indians, who are well known for their carved elaborate cedar dance masks. The most impressive of these masks could be opened at a pivotal point in a story to reveal a second face carved within the first one. The Hopi and other Pueblo Indians carved and painted wooden Kachina masks for their traditional dances. The Iroquois Indians created sacred masks called "false face" masks from wood and cornhusks. The Apache and Navajo make leather masks for dancing, and the Cherokee would handcraft masks from gourds for storytelling. Cherokee mask art has been declining since the forcible removal of the Cherokees to Oklahoma. Because their traditional mask materials were not available, some artists are working to revive the tradition. Northwest and Southwestern mask carving remain a vibrant part of contemporary native culture.

Today, most American Indian masks are used for decoration, dances, cultural drama, and as crafts for sale. There is an exception which is the Haudenosaunee false faces of the Iroquois, which are only used in internal religious rituals. The Iroquois consider it sacrilegious to sell, mimic, or publicly display a sacred false face mask. They have been petitioning museums to return false faces now in their exhibits. There is also a debate among Haudenosaunee traditionals about the unacceptable sale or display of any false face, or just those that were used in religious ceremonies. The masks used in religious ceremonies are called "live" spirit masks. Some Iroquois carvers carve "non-live" masks that are made for sale, and others disapprove of this. In any belief system, individuals do not always share the same religious interpretations. Although, all Iroquois believe it’s profaning the Iroquois religion to buy or view living masks, including antique Indian masks, or non-native forgeries of Iroquois false face masks.

Our collection of Kindred Spirit Masks includes limited edition Indian warrior masks adhered to a wood base called a wall mount. These impressive wall mounts were created by the Native American artists Black Wolf and Super Moon. The handmade warrior mask wall mounts are decorated with vibrant colored paints, coyote tails, horse mane, feathers, antlers, bison mane, and leather. The piercing eyes make them look lifelike. These Native American Indian kindred spirit masks would be a unique addition to your home decor.

Drums

 

Native American Drums

Tarahumara Indian Drums are Native drums that have been hand crafted using genuine cow hide for heavy covers and lacing and wood slats of yellow pine or cedar. Tarahumara Drums are heavy duty tom tom style drums that are excellent for making a rustic coffee table or western and southwestern end table. Large Drums can be used for drumming while smaller sizes are suited for decorative purposes for home decor.

There are many uses for these Tarahumara Drums. The larger, floor-type Native American drums are perfect for using as a piece furniture in your home such as end tables or coffee tables. Due to their size and durability, they are perfect for the rustic western tables or southwest decor. Add to the decor of any room with other Native American accessories such as Native American Southwest rugs or Native American Indian pottery as well as other Native drum tables.

Powwow Drum

Most people would say that you cannot have a Powwow without a drum because it carries the heartbeat of the Indian nation. The powwow drum or drum also carries the heartbeat of Mother Earth, and calls the spirits and nations together.

The Powwow drum has a large base covered with some type of hide. Eight or more men form a circle around the drum and strike it in unison with covered mallets.

The men blend their voices with the beating of the Powwow Drum to create a song in the Indian language of the powwow drum members. The drum members and the lead singer must be able to sing and play any song that is requested by the master of ceremonies or the arena director for any given event.

Native American Art

Native American Art includes Indian Baskets, Navajo Rugs, and some gorgeous Paintings & Sculptures but these astounding items are just a hint of the Southwestern Native American Art movement. Relax in a den decorated with warm, handcrafted Native American Art pieces and embrace the history of the Southwest!