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This comprehensive list of tips on Collecting Native American Arts & Crafts was prepared by the Department of Interior.  It is an excellent resource, and we share it with you here.

Tips on Collecting Native American Arts & Crafts

American Indian art, in all forms, has never been more alive and ever changing and continues to be one of the most gratifying and exciting to collect. American Indian art combines age old tradition, innovation and talent, and results in a variety of art forms for all levels of collecting -- whether you are beginning with a first-time purchase or have been collecting for a number of years. And at all levels of collecting, you are helping to support the continuation of the expression and livelihood of American Indian artists, while at the same time adding an object of beauty to your life!

Native American ArtThese art forms, many with centuries old influences, incorporate a natural spirit with timeless appeal. Whether it is basketry, in which artists are using the techniques and materials their ancestors did thousands of years ago, or silversmithing, which has evolved into classic as well as contemporary wearable art, there is always a place for authentic, handmade arts and crafts.

The interest in and appreciation of American Indian arts and crafts has unfortunately resulted in misrepresentations and imports in the market. Becoming an educated buyer and purchasing authentic arts and crafts will help to preserve the integrity and commitment of today's Native American artists. The popularity of American Indian arts and crafts has also brought merchandise into the market that is legitimately represented as "American Indian inspired" or influenced. This should not be confused with authentic American Indian arts and crafts. This guide should be a helpful aid in either beginning or continuing to collect with confidence that you know what you are purchasing. And, becoming an educated buyer is enjoyable, rewarding and exciting!

Tips on Collecting Native American Arts & Crafts

1) Become Educated:

a) Read books on craft areas you are interested in. Learning more about American Indian arts and crafts is often one of the most enjoyable parts of collecting and results in a strong foundation from which you can begin to buy with more confidence. You may also find as you learn more, your areas of interest may change, with each discovery leading you to another! You may not feel the learning process, but it will become evident when you realize you have the knowledge and confidence when making your purchase.

b) Ask Questions! Talk to people you are purchasing from/considering purchasing from. Established and knowledgeable dealers and artists are a great source of information and enjoy sharing it. They can direct you to publications and can point out what to look for when purchasing. Many dealers, artists and museums also offer rewarding opportunities through exhibits, presentations and demonstrations -- take advantage of these as you see them made available.

c) Explore trade magazines, publications, and organizations. The Indian Arts and Crafts Association has informational brochures on many craft areas that give a brief history and explanation of the craft, the origins and traditions and tips on what to look for when buying. Many of its members can provide these to you as well. Currently available are brochures on: Basketry, Beadwork, Eskimo Art of Alaska, Fetishes, Heishi, Jewelry, Kachinas, Navajo Weaving, Pueblo Pottery, and Sandpaintings. For your free brochure on the craft area(s) of interest, check with your local dealer or send the request with a self-addressed stamped envelope to IACA, 122 La Veta NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87108.

2) Become Educated:

a) Purchase from established dealers and IACA members. Reputable businesses will represent their merchandise accurately and can assure you of your purchase.
b) Ask for a certificate of authenticity or a written record on a business card, letterhead or receipt for your purchase. The information should include the item description, materials used tribal affiliation of the artist and artist name, when possible.
c) Avoid stores with "perpetual" sales or unethical discounting offers. Prices are often inflated and then a flat discount is offered that results in paying close to or sometimes more than a fair retail price.
d) If a deal seems too good to be true, beware!
e) Ask questions -- a knowledgeable and helpful staff is a good sign of a reputable business. They can help explain materials and techniques used and guide you on what to look for. When an answer is not known, they have numerous resources and will make the effort to find out. One of the most exciting things about collecting is that the learning process continues for everyone -- for both the novice and the aficionados, as well as the artists and dealers in the business.

3) Keep Records

It is extremely helpful (and very interesting over time!) to keep your receipts and certificates together for the purchases you make. This can be done by simply clipping the receipts and certificates together and placing them in a box or envelope. Many collectors may include a photo and notes or additional information on the artist. Some may even have a journal or album for details, and include updated appraisals for their collection. Having the item description, where and when it was purchased and the purchase price is most important and each person can use the method they are comfortable with. Keeping records:
a) is a good record of history
b) is helpful if there is a problem or concern with an item, its condition or care
c) helps in time of "the failing memory"!
d) is good information for family members who may some day acquire the item(s)
e) is good for insurance purposes
f) you never know when the emerging artist you purchased a piece by becomes the next highly collectable, award-winning artist!

4) If you feel an item has been misrepresented, allow the person or shop it was purchased from the opportunity to clarify the information -- this can clear any misunderstandings.

5) Know the Law that Protects You and American Indian Artists. The Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990, PL 101-644, is a truth in advertising law in that it mandates honest representation of American Indian arts and crafts and sets forth the definitions of such. For a copy of the law, write or call the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, Department of the Interior,MS-4004-MIB, 1849 C Street, NW, Washington, DC 20240, (202) 208-3773. Written complaints concerning misrepresentation of Indian arts and crafts can be addressed to them also.


1. What are the sources for American Indian Art? Isn't it better to purchase directly from the artist?

Answer: There are different ways of acquiring American Indian arts and crafts -- buying from the artist, shops/galleries and from special shows/ceremonials. Everyone will collect differently -- some only with dealers and some who may add pieces purchased directly from artists. The "best" way overall to collect, is to purchase what you like, what fits your budget and to be assured of what you are purchasing. Many artists establish retail prices for their work, and offer dealers a re-sale discount, so the prices you would pay are often the same. While there is a small artist minority who can make their living by selling their work directly, the success of the majority of artists depends on strong relationships with representatives and galleries who market and promote their work.

2. Where do Indian artists get ie. lapis? That's not traditional is it?

Answer: Today artists are using many materials that may or may not be indigenous to their area. Historically, many materials such as shells were traded among tribes. With the arrival of Europeans, trade for other materials such as beads, silver, and gold began. All art evolves, and the term "traditional" may have different interpretations at different periods in history. From the beginning of time, all peoples have borrowed from each other and over time, traditions have evolved. Today many artists seek out a variety of materials to achieve their expression of art, most often made available by gem/supply stores or through traders who assist in being a source for artists. The evolution of the arts is one of the exciting aspects of buying American Indian arts and crafts.

3. Which is the best piece of i.e., pottery I should buy? Which i.e., kachina is my best investment?

Answer: When you are buying American Indian arts and crafts you are buying a piece of art -- your personal taste and budget will guide you to the right choice. We recommend buying first and foremost because you like a piece. There is good quality work being done today by many artists, in different styles and price ranges. Decide on the style of work you like -- subtle detail or very fine detail; traditional, contemporary or somewhere in between. Some people may collect work by certain artists or artist families, some may collect themes or want particular tribal areas, some may want "name" artists and others enjoy collecting emerging artists works -- and some may collect one or two pieces while still others collect a bit of everything! Collecting and buying Indian arts and crafts is very personal and is exciting for many different reasons. For those who choose to invest in the grace and beauty of an object of art, collecting authentic American Indian arts and crafts will continue to be a rewarding experience.



A variety of highly refined crafts express the unique cultural traditions of Native Alaskan peoples. Commonly known as Eskimo, the Yupik and Inupiat people of Northern Alaska have been subsistence hunters relying on local species for thousands of years. These local animals provide the materials from which are fashioned exceptional works of art. The tusks of the Pacific walrus provide ivory, which carvers transform into amazingly realistic images of animals. Walrus, seal, polar bears and arctic whales are favorite subjects, but we also see birds, otters, woolly mammoth, wolf, moose and many others. Hunters waiting at seal breathing holes and whaling from kayaks are also depicted in ivory. Old pieces of whalebone, collected from shorelines, also are used by carvers, often for larger scale pieces. More recently soapstone has become popular with several carvers as well as with collectors. Other items include hoop masks, dolls, and the highly sought after baleen basketry. Woven from the baleen plates of the toothless species of whales, these baskets are produced by a very small number of artists, and are a truly unique form of artistic expression.

Price ranges on items from Alaska are from about $30 into $1000’s, with something to fit everyone’s budget.


One of the oldest creative endeavors still practiced today is the art of weaving baskets. Although the utilitarian aspects of basketry for everyday use have been almost entirely supplanted by modern conveniences, the ceremonial use of baskets persists in many communities. The need for ceremonial items and the recognition of basketry as an art form have helped this exquisite form of creative art to survive. American Indian basketry relies on local materials that are gathered by the basket maker and techniques that have remained unchanged from prehistory to the present day. Many southwestern baskets are made with yucca leaves and various grasses, while baskets from other parts of the country are woven from different woods which have been split into very thin strips. At the Indian Craft Shop we carry basketry from several different southwestern groups including the Tohono OíOdham (or Papago), Apache, Navajo, and Hopi. From basket makers in other parts of the country we have Cherokee (both Eastern and Western), Ojibwa, Chippewa, Mohawk, Passamoquaddy, and Seminole work. Trays, jars, plaques, sewing baskets, fruit baskets, miniatures, and burden baskets are among the basketry forms that we regularly have in stock.



 The first thing that comes to mind for many people when they think of American Indian crafts is beadwork. Although glass beads were not available until they were imported by Europeans as a trade item they quickly became a traditional form of embellishment for a variety of everyday items and ceremonial objects. There are distinctive types of beadwork from different regions of the country, and subtle differences of style from different tribes within each region. Beads can be applied to fabric or hide in different ways, most of which are variations of sewing techniques. A common form is called the lazy stitch, (although there is nothing lazy about doing it!), in which the beads are sewn in even rows with different color combinations used to create geometric designs. Beads can also be contour stitched in which the rows of beads are sewed in curvilinear patterns with varying numbers of beads used to fill spaces and create curved designs such as flowers. Beads can also be stitched together into tubular strips which are used finish the edges of designs and to cover the handles of rattles or the stems of pipes. Unique to the Northeastern United States is raised beadwork, a technique which creates dimensional designs which rise up from the surface of the fabric.

At the Indian Craft Shop most beaded items are from the Northern and Southern Plains, with work as well as from other areas including the Northeast, Alaska, and the Southwest. Prices range from under $20 to over $1000. Please contact the shop for our current selection or special requests. For further reading on beadwork, see the Publications section for available books!

Quill Work

Prior to the introduction of glass beads as an European trade item, tribes in many parts of the country used porcupine quills to decorate clothing and everyday items. Made soft by soaking, the individual quills are then trimmed and flattened, and sewn or plaited in a variety of ways to create smooth even rows. A variety of colors obtained from dyes allowed a wide range of designs to be produced. As small glass beads became a common item they quickly supplanted the use of quills in most areas. With no preparation required, beads were a much more efficient way to provide decoration. Although greatly diminished, quillwork did not vanish completely, and there are many artists today reviving this art form. Mostly from tribes living on the Great Plains, there are many beautifully quilled items available to include moccasins, medicine bags and pipe bags, hair ornaments, key rings, jewelry and many other accessories. One of the most popular is the medicine wheel, a round shape with four directional bars inside the circle. It is covered with plaited quills which are dyed in either the traditional directional colors or in a variety of colors. Please contact The Indian Craft Shop for its current selection of quillwork. For further reading, see the Publications section for available books!



Fetish carvings, which are small stone representations of animals, are one of the most popular and easily collected forms of American Indian art. Fetishes have long been an integral feature of the traditional religious practices of Pueblo groups. Over the last sixty years the creation of fetishes has developed into an art form by many artisans, predominantly at the Zuni Pueblo. The depictions of animals range from very abstract representational forms to highly detailed lifelike sculptural works, ranging in size from miniatures that sit on the tip of a finger to pieces too large to fit in the hand. A wide variety of materials are used including varieties of jasper, marble and serpentine, as well as turquoise, malachite, flourite, alabaster and pipestone. Carvers also utilize materials other than stone including shell, coral, jet, ironwood, cottonwood, cedar, antler, bone, fossil ivory, and even glass! The array of animals is equally diverse. The traditional forms of the six directions which are: wolf (east), bear (west), mountain lion (north), badger (south), mole (underground), and eagle (sky), are most often represented. In addition to these commonly carved animals, artists are creating just about to include turtles, frogs, fish, horses, elephants, dinosaurs, buffalo, skunks, weasels, and just about everything else imaginable.

At the Indian Craft Shop there is always a wide selection of fetish carvings ranging from traditional subjects and styles to the most innovative of the modern pieces. The price range of fetish carvings is from under $10 to sometimes over $1000 dependent on the material, detail of carving, and the skill level and notability of the artist. Collecting fetish carvings is a rewarding experience as each figure takes on its own personality. To learn more about fetishes, following is a list of books available on the subject.

Zuni Fetishes by Frank Hamilton Cushing. KC Publications, 1883, 1990. Soft cover $3.00.

Zuni Fetishes by Frank Hamilton Cushing with annotations and supplemental material by Mark Bahti. KC Publications, 1999. Soft cover $7.95.

A Zuni Artist Looks at Frank Hamilton Cushing: Cartoons by Phil Hughte by Phil Hughte. A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center, 1994. Soft cover $24.95.

Zuni Fetishism by Ruth F. Kirk. Avanyu Publishing, 1943, 1988. Soft cover $4.75.

Native American Art - Zuni Fetishes

A Guide to Zuni Fetishes and Carvings, Volume I: The Animals and the Carvers by Kent McManis. Treasure Chest, 1995, 1998. Soft cover $8.95.

Guide to Zuni Fetishes and Carvings, Volume II: The Materials and the Carvers by Kent McManis. Treasure Chest, 1998. Soft cover, $8.95.

Zuni Fetish Carvings by Dr. Harold Finklestein. Southwest Connection, 1994. Soft cover $8.95.

The Fetish Carvers of Zuni by Marian Rodee and James Ostler. University of New Mexico, 1995. Soft cover $18.95.

Native American Fetishes by Kay Whittle. Schiffer, 1998. Soft cover $14.95.

Spirit in the Stone: A Handbook of Southwestern Indian Animal Carvings and Beliefs by Mark Bahti. Treasure Chest, 1999. Soft cover $15.95.



Central to the traditional religion of the Hopi people of the Northern Arizona are Kachinas. A Kachina (Katsinsa) is a supernatural being relied upon to provide rain, fertility, health, and well being. While Kachinas play a role in many of the Pueblo societies, the Hopi are most noted and prolific today in kachina doll carving. Each year in elaborate ceremonies, men of the Hopi villages dress and mask themselves for ritualized dances to represent and call on the different Kachinas. Kachina dolls are carved from cottonwood root and have long been used to instruct Hopi children in the ways of the traditional religious cycles, and to help them learn to identify the hundreds of different beings. The carvings convey the movement of the dancer, and the specific particulars of the mask, costume, and accessories. In addition to Kachinas, Hopi artists also carve figures from Hopi mythology and folklore as well as other Pueblos dancers.

The Indian Craft Shop features a selection of Hopi carvings from both emerging and well-established artists, as well as occasional selections of Zuni carved kachina dolls. Some of the most popular carvings include Eototo and Aholi (Kachina Chief and 1st Lieutenant), Ogres, Shalako, Eagle, Bear, Wolf and Badger, and clowns to include Koshares and Mudheads. Price ranges on kachina dolls vary from the low $100ís to over $1000. Please contact the shop for our current selection/special requests. If you are interested in learning more about kachinas, following is a selection of the very best books on the subject.

The Hopi Approach to the Art of Kachina Doll Carving by Erik Bromberg. Schiffer,1986. Soft cover $9.95.

Kachinas: Spirit Beings of the Hopi by J. Brent Ricks and Alexander E. Anthony, Jr, with art by Neil David, Sr. Avanyu, 1993. Hard cover $50.00.

Hopi Kachinas by Clara Lee Tanner. Ray Manley Publishing. Soft cover $6.95.

The Kachina Dolls of Cecil Calnimptewa: Their Power, Their Splendor by Theda Bassman. Treasure Chest, 1991. Hard cover, Limited Edition, $70.00.

Hopi Kachina Dolls and Their Carvers by Theda Bassman. Schiffer, 1991. Hard cover $59.95.

Kachinas: A Hopi Artist's Documentary by Barton Wright, original paintings by Cliff Bahnimptewa. Northland with the Heard Museum, 1973, 1991. Hard cover $55.00. Soft cover 1973, 1998 $29.95.

Following the Sun and Moon: Hopi Kachina Tradition by Alph H. Secakuku. Northland, 1995. Soft cover $19.95.

Hopi Kachina Dolls With a Key to Their Identification by Harold S. Colton. University of New Mexico, 1949, 1959, 1990. Soft cover $10.95.

Hopi Kachinas: The Complete Guide to Collecting Kachina Dolls by Barton Wright. Northland, 1977, 1997. Soft cover $14.95.

Clowns of the Hopi by Barton Wright. Northland, 1994, 1995. Soft cover $12.95.

Kachina Dolls: The Art of Hopi Carvers by Helga Tiewes. University of Arizona, 1991. Hard cover $29.95.

Hopi Indian Kachina Dolls by Oscar T. Branson. Treasure Chest, 1992. Hard cover $29.95.



From the looms of Navajo weavers come wool rugs that are comparable to the world’s finest weavings. Navajo weavings are woven on upright looms that are constructed by the weaver. The transition from producing weavings for personal use to producing items for commerce was largely responsible for the development of the modern Navajo rug, just over one hundred years ago. The advent of reservation trading posts encouraged this transition by creating market outlets for products like rugs that previously had circulated only in trade. Exposure to larger markets had a significant effect on the evolution of the art form. The most apparent example of this was the development of regional styles and patterns. Although they are no longer accurate indicators of a modern rug’s geographic origin, the regional names such as Two Grey Hills, Wide Ruins, or Ganado still identify rugs of a particular style. It is important to realize that these are general styles, and not specific patterns or designs. There is no set of Navajo designs, and patterns are devised within the mind of the weaver, so while two rugs may be very similar, there are no two exactly alike.

At the Indian Craft Shop there is always a selection of Navajo rugs representing regional styles, as well as the popular pictorials and sandpainting designs. We often have unusual or exceptional examples of a particular type, and can take advantage of our extensive sources to locate hard to find or unique weavings. Prices on Navajo rugs range from about $100 into the $1000ís. Please contact the shop for our current selection and any special requests you may have. If you would like to learn more about the fascinating history of Navajo weaving and the development of their styles, following are some execellent books on the subject.

The Navajo Weaving Tradition, 1650 to the Present by Alice Kaufman and Christopher Selser. Council Oak, 1985, 1999. Soft cover $29.95.

Reflections of the Weaver's World by Ann Lane Hedlund. Denver Art Museum, 1992. Soft cover $29.95.

Navajo Weaving Way: The Path From Fleece to Rug by Noel Bennet and Tianna Bighorse. Interweave Press, 1997. Soft cover $19.95.

Weaving a World: Textiles and the Navajo Way of Seeing by Roseann S. Willink and Paul G. Zolbrod. Museum of New Mexico Press, 1996. Soft cover $29.95.

The Rugs of Teec Nos Pos: Jewel of the Navajo Loom by Ruth K. Belikove. Adobe Gallery, 1994. Soft cover $22.50.

Navajo and Hopi Dyes by Nonabagh G. Bryan. Historic Indian Publishers, 1940, 1974. Soft cover $14.95.

C.N. Cotton and His Navajo Blankets by Lester L. Williams, MD. Avanyu, 1989. Soft cover $22.50.

Weaving of the Southwest by Marian Rodee. Schiffer, 1987. Soft cover $29.95.

Honoring the Weavers exhibit catalog from the Pojoaque Poah Museum. Kiva, 1996. Soft cover $8.95.

Southwest Weaving: A Continuum by Stefani Salkeld. San Diego Museum of Man, 1996. Soft cover $19.95.

Spanish American Blanketry by H.P. Mera. School of American Research, 1987. Soft cover $14.95.

Hopi Quilting: Stitched Traditions from an Ancient Community by Carolyn O'Bagy Davis. Sanpete, 1997. Soft cover $27.95.

To Honor and Comfort: Native Quilting Traditions edited by Marsha L. MacDowell and C. Kurt Dewhurst. Museum of New Mexico, 1997. Soft cover $35.00.

Rugs and Posts: The Story of Navajo Weaving and Indian Trading by H.L. James. Schiffer, 1988, 1999. Soft cover $24.95.

Navajo Textiles: The William Randolph Hearst Collection by Nancy J. Blomberg. University of Arizona, 1988, 1994. Soft cover $35.00.

Contemporary Navajo Weaving: Thoughts That Count by Ann Lane Hedlund. Plateau Magazine, Museum of Northern Arizona, 1994. Soft cover $6.95.

Historic Trading Posts, Plateau Magazine, Museum of Northern Arizona, 1986. Soft cover $5.00.

Pictorial Weavings of the Navajo by Nancy N. Schiffer. Schiffer, 1991. Soft cover $12.95.

Navajo Weaving: Three Centuries of Change by Kate Peck Kent. School of American Research Press, 1985. Soft cover $16.95.

Tension and Harmony: The Navajo Rug by Kate Peck Kent, Joe Ben Wheat, Marsha Gallagher, and Gary Witherspoon. Museum of Northern Arizona, 1987. Soft cover $4.95.

Navajo Pictorial Weaving 1880-1950 by Tyrone Campbell and Kate Kopp. University of New Mexico, 1991, 1995. Soft cover $19.95.

Historic Navajo Weaving: Three Cultures, One Loom by Tyrone D. Campbell. Avanyu, 1987. Soft cover $14.95.

Hubbell Trading Post: National Historic Site by David M. Brugge. Southwest Parks and Monuments Association, 1993. Soft cover $9.95.

Navajo Rugs: How to Find, Evaluate, Buy and Care for Them by Don Dedera. Northland, 1975, 1996. Soft cover $14.95.

Old Navajo Rugs: Their Development from 1900 to 1940 by Marian Rodee. University of New Mexico, 1981, 1987. Soft cover $17.95.

One Hundred Years of Navajo Rugs by Marian Rodee. Updated edition of Old Navajo Rugs. University of New Mexico, 1995. Soft cover $29.95.

Designing With the Wool: Advanced Techniques in Navajo Weaving by Noel Bennett. Northland, 1979, 1986. Soft cover $8.95. Northland, 1979, 1990.Soft cover $12.95.

Rio Grande Blankets: Late Nineteenth Century Textiles in Transition by Kellen Kee McIntyre. Adobe Gallery, 1992. Soft cover $22.50.

The Fine Art of Navajo Weaving by Steve Getzwiller. Ray Manley Publishing, 1984. Soft cover $9.95.

The Weaver's Pathway: A Clarification of the "Spirit Trail" in Navajo Weaving by Noel Bennett. Northland, 1974, 1987. Soft cover $11.95.

Beyond the Loom: Keys to Understanding Early Southwestern Weavings by Ann Lane Hedlund with Joe Ben Wheat. Johnson Publishing, 1990. Soft cover $9.95.

Indian Blankets and Their Makers by George Wharton James. Dover, 1974. Soft cover $8.95.

Weaving a Navajo Blanket by Gladys A. Reichard. Dover, 1936, 1974. Soft cover $4.95.

Navajo Rugs: Past, Present, and Future by Gilbert S. Maxwell, revised by Bill and Sande Bobb. Southwest Images, 1963, 1984, 1992. Soft cover $8.95.

A Guide to Navajo Weavings by Kent McManis and Robert Jeffries. Treasure Chest, 1997. Soft cover $9.95.

Navaho Weaving: It's Technic and it's History by Charles A. Amsden. Rio Grande, 1934, 1990. Soft cover $15.00.



Contemporary American Indian pottery is the legacy of a tradition thousands of years old. To be considered a "traditional" piece of pottery the potter must dig the clay out of the ground and construct the pot entirely by hand without the use of a potter's wheel. Many traditional potters eschew the use of electric kilns for firing their work, instead using an outdoor pit fueled by wood and dung. Designs are either carved or scratched into the surface of a dried piece before it is fired. Designs can also be applied with a "slip", a thin mixture of water and clay. Different clays, ground minerals, or plant materials are used to make slips of different colors. Many Navajo potters coat their pieces with pine pitch, which gives them a lustrous finish. No glaze is ever used in traditional American Indian pottery. Pottery with a shiny finish has been polished by rubbing the surface of the piece with smooth stones. Often a single piece will incorporate several of these techniques.

Dialogues with Zuni Potters by Milford Nahohai and Elisa Phelps. Zuni Ashiwi Publishing, 1995. Soft cover $19.95

Indian Pottery by Toni Roller. Sunstone Press, 1997. Soft cover $12.95

Zuni Pottery by Marian Rodee and James Ostler. Schiffer Publishing, 1986. Soft cover $9.95

Santa Clara Pottery Today by Betty LeFree. School of American Research Press, 1975. Soft cover $11.95

Maria: The Legend, The Legacy by Susan Brown McGreevy. Sunstone Press, 1982. Soft cover $4.50

Acoma and Laguna Pottery by Rick Dillingham with Melinda Elliott. School of American Research Press, 1992. Soft cover $24.95.

Pottery by American Indian Women: The Legacy of Generations by Susan Peterson Abbeville Publishing Group and The National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1997. Hard cover $55.00.

Fourteen Families in Pueblo Pottery by Rick Dillingham. University of New Mexico Press, 1994, 1997. Soft cover $39.95.

A Guide to Pueblo Pottery by Susan Lamb. Southwest Parks and Monuments Association, 1996. Soft cover $3.95.

The Pueblo Storyteller by Barbara A. Babcock, Guy Monthan, and Doris Monthan. The University of Arizona Press. Hard cover, 1986, 1990 $50.00 Soft cover, 1997 $25.95.


Southwestern Pottery Anasazi to Zuni by Allan Hayes and John Blom. Northland Publishing, 1996, 1997. Soft cover $21.95.

Nacimientos: Nativity Scenes by Southwest Indian Artisans by Guy Monthan and Doris Monthan. Northland Press, 1979, 1990. Soft cover $29.95.

Storytellers and Other Figurative Pottery by Douglas Congdon-Martin. Schiffer Publishing, 1990. Soft cover $19.95.


Pueblo Stories and Storytellers by Mark Bahti. Treasure Chest Publications, 1988. Soft cover $9.95. Revised Edition, 1996. Soft cover $12.95. 

Navajo Pottery: Traditions and Innovations by Russell P. Hartman and Jan Musial. Northland Publishing, 1987, 1991. Soft cover $12.95.

The Pueblo Potter: A Study of Creative Imagination in Primitive Art by Ruth L. Benzel. Dover Publications, 1929, 1972. Soft cover $7.95.

Talking with the Clay: The Art of Pueblo Pottery by Stephen Trimble. School of American Research Press, 1987, 1993. Soft cover $15.95.

From This Earth: The Ancient Art of Pueblo Pottery by Stewart Peckham. Museum of New Mexico Press, 1990. Soft cover $39.95.

Art of Clay: Timeless Pottery of the Southwest by Lee M. Cohen. Clear Light Publishers, 1993. Hard cover $39.95.

Talking Pots: Deciphering the Symbols of a Prehistoric People by James R. Cunkle. Golden West 1993, 1996. Soft cover $19.95.

Southwestern Indian Pottery by Bruce Hucko. K.C. Publishing 1999. Soft cover $7.95.

Collections of Southwestern Pottery: Candlesticks to Canteens, Frogs to Figurines by Allan Hayes and John Blom. Northland, 1998. Soft cover $9.95.

Artistry In Clay: A Buyer's Guide to Southwestern Indian Pottery by Ramona Gault. Southwestern Association for Indian Arts, 1991, 1995. Soft cover $8.95.

Pueblo Pottery of the New Mexico Indians by Betty Toulouse. Museum of New Mexico Press, 1977. Soft cover $9.95.

All That Glitters: The Emergence of Micaceous Art Pottery in Northern New Mexico by Duane Anderson. School of American Research Press, 1999. Soft cover $27.50.

Dirt For Making Things: An Apprenticeship in Maricopa Pottery as told to Janet Stoeppelmann by Mary Fernald. Northland, 1995. Soft cover $ 14.95.

Hopi and Hopi-Tewa Pottery Plateau Magazine of the Museum of Northern Arizona. Museum of Northern Arizona Press, 1977. Soft cover $5.95.

Hopi Pottery Symbols by Alex Patterson, based on work by Alexander M. Stephen. Johnson Printing, 1994. Soft cover $17.95.

Seven Families in Pueblo Pottery by the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, University of New Mexico. University of New Mexico Press, 1974, 1991. Soft cover $9.95.

Pueblo Pottery Families by Lillian Peaster. Schiffer, 1997. Soft cover $19.95.

Tending the Fire: The Story of Maria Martinez by Juddi Morris. Northland, 1997. Soft cover $6.95.

Hopi-Tewa Pottery: 500 Artist's Biographies by Gregory Schaaf. Center for Indigenous Arts and Cultures Press, 1998. Hard cover $50.00.

Pueblo Indian Pottery: 750 Artist Biographies by Gregory Schaaf. Center for Indigenous Arts and Cultures Press, 2000. Hard cover $55.00.

The Legacy of A Master Potter: Nampeyo and Her Descendants by Mary Ellen Blair and Laurence Blair. Treasure Chest, 1999. Soft cover $29.95.

Nampeyo and Her Pottery by Barbara Kramer. University of New Mexico Press, 1996. Hard cover $39.95.

Tradition and Innovation: The Pottery of New Mexico's Pueblos by Linda B. Eaton, Plateau Magazine of the Museum of Northern Arizona. Museum of Northern Arizona Press, 1990. Soft cover $5.95.

Lucy M. Lewis: American Indian Potter by Susan Peterson. Kodansha International, 1984, 1992. Soft cover $39.95.

Margaret Tafoya: A Tewa Potter's Heritage and Legacy by Mary Ellen Blair and Laurence Blair. Schiffer, 1986. Hard cover $45.00.

The Living Tradition of Maria Martinez by Susan Peterson. Kodonsha International, 1977, 1989. Soft cover $45.00.





























































Historically and through today, sandpainting ceremonies have been/are conducted by Navajo Medicine men. Despite their use for centuries the images themselves were not reproduced outside of the ceremonies until the early 1900ís when sandpainting designs were occasionally being depicted in rugs, and had begun to be catalogued by ethnographers. Within the last fifty years, a technique was developed for making permanent sandpaintings as an art form on particle board. By applying the sand onto thin layers of glue and coating the finished piece with a clear coat of acrylic a degree of permanence is attained. This technique has enabled sandpaintings to become commercfially available, and many Navajo artists excel at this uniquely Navajo form of expression. Traditional designs are reproduced with slight modifications (since the actual complete designs can only be used in the appropriate religious setting) and single elements of these designs are popular subjects for smaller pieces. Nontraditional themes have also become more prevalent, including landscapes, dancers, and still life images.

At the Indian Craft Shop there is a wide array of sandpaintings, many framed and matted, as well as wooden boxes with decorative sandpainting lids. Prices on sandpaintings can range from $5.00 to over $1000. Please contact the shop for descriptions and its current selection. For further reading on sandpainting, following is a list of great reference books.

Myth and Prayers of the Great Star Chant and the Myth of the Coyote Chant recorded by Mary C. Wheelwright. Edited with commentaries by David P. McAllester. Navajo Community College, 1956, 1988. Soft cover $27.00.

Navajo Medicine Man Sandpaintings by Gladys A. Reichard. Dover, 1939, 1977. Soft cover $12.95.

Navajo Art of Sandpainting by Douglas Congden-Martin. Schiffer, 1990, 1997. Soft cover $9.95. Revised 1999 soft cover $9.95.

Tapestries In Sand: The Spirit of Indian Sandpainting by David Villesanor. Naturegraph, 1963, 1966. Soft cover $8.95.

Earth is my Mother, Sky is my Father: Space, Time and Astronomy in Navajo Sandpainting by Trudy Griffin-Pierce. University of New Mexico, 1992. Soft cover $16.95.

Sandpaintings of the Navajo Shooting Chant by Franc J. Newcomband Gladys A. Reichard. Dover, 1937, 1975. Soft cover $11.95.

Summoning the Gods by Ronald McCoy. Museum of Northern Arizona, 1988. Soft cover $15.95.

Native American Art - Collector's Tips