Grand Canyon Native American Jewelery where to buy
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Mar 10, 2013 7:53 AM Last Post By: paintaflow
Mar 3, 2013 4:49 PM
Grand Canyon Native American Jewelery where to buyHIii!
I am going to be going to the grand canyon to hike rim to rim in may. I was wondering if anyone knows where I can buy native american jewelery ethically while I am there. I would like to buy knowing that who ever made the jewelery is making the profit; not the gift shop owner. I know there are some gift shops in the national park like the Hopi House Gift SHop that sell jewelry, just wondering if this is a good spot to buy or if there are places outside the canyon that are better to buy.
if anyone has any help that would be great!
Edited by: paintaflow
Edited by: paintaflow
Mar 3, 2013 6:45 PM
1When I worked for the Navajo Nation I bought my jewelry at the Navajo Arts and Craft store in Window Rock. It is a tribal enterprise and probably the best you could do without buying direct from the artist. I was thinking you would have to drive there but just noticed they have a web site you can order from http://www.gonavajo.com/. When I was working for the tribe I got a nice discount there. Also if you know any Navajos they can get an even better discount.
Mar 3, 2013 8:45 PM
Mar 4, 2013 7:12 AM
3I believe that you now have to be a card-carrying "Native-American" of the Indian persuasion to make or sell "Native-American" jewelry. It is a matter of law. The "Native-Americans" guard this privilege jealously. I wouldn't worry about "cheating" anyone other than you. I don't know where the jewelry is actually made, but some of it looks as sophisticated as anything you may see in any other “carriage trade” jewelry shop. I am certain that it is not being produced by some starving artisan in the back of his hovel.
Mar 4, 2013 10:52 AM
4Take E. Rim Drive (highway 64) east, out of the National Park, down towards highway 89. Once you leave the park you will find craft booths set up periodically on the side of the highway.
The booths are run by Native Americans, and by all appearances are usually run by either the artist, a family member, or at least someone in the same tribe. It's not the most high end stuff, and lots of the booths have similar stuff. There is probably some mass produced stuff thrown in, but you can usually spot it. The prices are good and you know its going to the tribe. And, its a beautiful drive too.
It's about an hour each way down to highway 89 and back. You can stop in Cameron for lunch and the Cameron Trading Post (for more crafts) before turning around and heading back.
Mar 4, 2013 11:43 AM
5Those booths on the side of the road typically sell mass-produced imported junk, or if it is locally made, it's usually assembled of plastic bead-shop materials. Some of it is quite nice, though, so if all you're concerned about is that locals make a profit, rather than a gallery or wholesale merchant, then these boths will meet that need (and you'll get a bargain while you're at it). If you're looking for artisnal peices made by professional craftspeople, you won't find it for cheap on the side of the road.
Cameron Trading Post sells a mix of imported knock-offs and genuine local arts. It is often not very hard to tell which is which (first clue - price tag).
I am certain that it is not being produced by some starving artisan in the back of his hovel.
Think again. If you're looking at something in the Museum Shop, or at the Navajo craft guild, it was in fact made by some starving artisan in the back of his hovel. More likely, by a professional artist in his or her studio space (which might be in the back of a hovel, or a shack next to the hovel, or a table at the community college studio space, or an honest-to-goodness workshop). Guess what? Native Americans have competent professional craftspeople in their ranks. You should have a look at those links above, to see what these poor devils can toss together in the back of their hovels.
Edited by: FlagStuff
Mar 4, 2013 12:01 PM
Mar 4, 2013 1:57 PM
7The Rez has plenty of handy amatuers knocking out trinkets for tourists, and plenty of true professional craftspeople. The quality of the workmanship can be remarkable. But things are hard all over on the reservation, and you can't always correlate the circumstances of their surroundings with the quality of the work. In fact, plenty of skilled artists also knock out trinkets for tourists (or have their kids and little neices and nephews do it), to keep the cash flowing. Anyway, sorry for the snarky response.
Mar 4, 2013 2:05 PM
Mar 10, 2013 7:53 AM
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