If you’re going to buy “Native American inspired” jewelry or apparel, JUST BUY FROM AN ACTUAL NATIVE AMERICAN!!!

Like there are groups on facebook that you can look through, and a lot of those lead to particular artists who are willing to do business. ACTUAL TRIBAL NATIVE AMERICANS guys!! Not only is the piece you are getting AUTHENTIC, but for sooo many natives, it’s how they pay their bills, buy food, or provide for their family and you are helping them. Yes some things are expensive but that’s literally their job sometimes, and yes some are cheaper but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s “poor quality,” they just need a quick buck.

The real artists are out there guys, so many flea markets in the Navajo nation that you can find things, benefit powwows, cultural centers, facebook groups, other social media, they’re really not that hard to find. Some of them have jobs and do beadwork, jewelry, clothes on the side, but you are still getting the real deal. Don’t buy that “Native American inspired” overpriced piece from Becky who lives on a 100 acre ranch, in a 2 story house, and drives a brand new BMW.

‘Cosmic Clam’ …

“Like a musician lost in the playing of the music, I can sit still for hours, blissfully focused, arranging tiny granules of gold into beautiful patterns. I try to find harmony in even the minutest step of the process, whether it’s the positioning of a single granule, or shaving off a tenth of a millimeter of gold to get a perfect line. This is the foundation and integrity of my art” …

Ring designed by Kent Raible in 2006 for 'Secret treasure’ Annual Design Project Collection from the American Jewellery Design Council (AJDC)

18K yellow gold, 900 platinum, chrysacolla, diamonds, sapphires and pearls. The clam can be worn closed as a ring, or can be opened to reveal a removable inner ring.
Image: AJDC


The Emberá people, also known in the historical literature as the Chocó or Katío Indians are an indigenous people of Panama and Colombia. In the Emberá language, the word ẽberá can be used to mean person, man, or indigenous person, depending on the context in which it is used. There are approximately 33,000 people living in Panama and 50,000 in Colombia who identify as Emberá. 

 (First photo is by pupi3000 on Flickr)

Hand-colored tintype portrait of an unidentified Pawnee man probably taken somewhere in the United States, c. 1800′s.

Source: National Museum of American History.

So I’m at this science conference dine-about thing making small talk with strangers, when this guy asks me if I’m married, indicating the ring I’m twisting on my finger.

So I’m like (???) “Oh, no,“ (always a dangerous answer to give in these types of situations) and then wave my ring to show it’s not fancy. “It’s just turquoise.”

And then he goes, “What’s turquoise?”

And I just sort of stare at him. Stare at my ring. Stare at him. "The rock?”

And he’s just like, “Oh, haha, I don’t really know anything about that. It’s a gemstone?”

And I’m still just kind of bewildered, because on the one hand I feel like turquoise is a concept I’m pretty solid on, but on the other hand I am currently being asked to explain turquoise and, like. I don’t know. The rock is visible on my finger. This dude is not really indicating any comprehension and yet somehow I suspect he is not looking for some kind of mineral chemical analysis. My okra is getting cold. I’m not really sure where to go with the conversation from here.

(I am strongly reminded of many, many conversations in which people that clearly had no interest in books engaged me in stilted conversations about the intricate mysteries of books. "So, I see you’ve got a *book* there. I guess you like Books. Does it have Book things in it? That sure is a Book.”)

I make an attempt. “No, it’s a semi-precious stone. It’s…“ I scramble for an explanation– ”…turquoise colored.” I briefly consider describing what turquoise looks like in more detail, decide that is crazy, and just kind of vaguely indicate my hand again. “Turquoise?”

The attempt is, perhaps not surprisingly, unsuccessful. We contemplate each other in mutual bewilderment.

Finally, scrounging through my shallow repertoire of Possible Turquoise Facts of Interest I add, “It’s used in a lot of southern and Native American jewelry.”

“Oh, neat,” he says, sounding vastly relieved to be offered any form of trivia to politely exit this conversational quagmire on. We change the topic and manage not to alarm each other further for the rest of the evening.

geekyhobbies  asked:

I saw a native american selling handmade jewelry in a festival. I wasnt sure if I could buy, because Im white and if I have dream catcher earrings or something, it'd be appropriation. But, the native man was inviting ppl to wear, by selling them, and it makes up his income, in which case my money would be supporting an actual native. But, sometimes I wonder if natives are pressured to sell what looks "authentic" to white ppl, but is more like tourist shlock, because they need money. Any advice?

It happens a lot where natives sell things that are still native made, but are something that has become mainstreamed to fit white peoples narrative of what Native looks like. Dream catchers are very common, even though they’re specifically from the Objiwe tribe. Other things you’ll notice that’s been mainstreamed in native art is certain patterns and wolves.

My advice is, still buy from and support them. It’s not appropriation to wear native made jewelry or own native made art. But when it comes to dream catchers, please buy from an ojibwe native instead and don’t buy them in earring and necklace form.

Flyer for a Contemporary Jewelry sales exhibition in 1947 at Alexander Girard’s shop in Grosse Pointe, Michigan with iconic artists such as Harry Bertoia and Alexander Calder. Graphic design by Girard with references to Calder’s jewelry. / Instagram