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Common Terms Associated with Native American Goods
There is a unique beauty to Indian art, jewelry and crafts. Western clothing styles and accessories have often incorporated a Native American influence, particularly in the use of turquoise jewelry. Collectors prize vintage artifacts, such as Navajo rugs and authentic moccasins and dream catchers. And painters both Native and non-Native have been drawn to the Indian culture as a subject, and have created pictures in every artistic medium featuring Indians in their native costumes. Here are some common terms that will help guide you through the fascinating world of American Indian goods.
Dream Catcher – A handicraft made from string or yarn, with a hole in the center that many Native American cultures believe attracts good dreams.
Sandcast – A type of Indian jewelry-making that casts metal into stone molds to form the shape of the jewelry piece.
Kachina Dolls – Wooden images of dolls in colorful costumes. They are associated with many Indian religious and cultural traditions.
Navajo Weaving – Woven goods are a prominent aspect of many Native American arts, but the Navajo tribe is closely associated with both a quality and variety of textile creations, known for their bold colors and patterns.
Jacklas – A string of turquoise beads that hang from a necklace and are sometimes worn as earrings. It’s possible to find jackals in both authentic turquoise and costume jewelry variations.
Storyteller – The person designated by a tribe as being responsible for passing down the tribe’s history and culture. Many Indian art pieces feature pictures of storytellers.