At Palms, we feel it is our privilege and our obligation to stay informed and educated regarding the various facets of our business and the products we sell. We also know it is important to pass this knowledge on to you, our valued customers. As turquoise has gained popularity throughout the years, particularly in the fashion world, we would like to take this opportunity to provide some insight into the value of turquoise so that, if you would like to incorporate this stone into your wardrobe, you are able to make the best possible decisions. The following information has been paraphrased from the publication Turquoise Annual: Volume I from the year 1976.
Throughout history, Native Americans have placed high regard on symbolism, ceremonies, and preserving tradition and culture. Here, we outline just a few samples of some interesting stories and symbols from several Native American cultures, pueblos and tribes.
The Snake Dance of the Hopi Indians
Excerpts from the book by Earle R. Forrest, followed by a personal comment from Palms Trading Company Owner Guy Berger
In no other part of the world will you witness a religious ceremony during which the participants dance with live rattlesnakes held in their mouths. Both diamondbacks and sidewinders are used as part of the ceremony, as well as other snakes that have been captured. These snakes are believed to be messengers that will carry the prayers of this desert tribe to the gods of the underworld to send rain, and to inform their deities that the Hopis still live in the old way of their ancestors. The “underworld”, which is beneath the earth’s surface, is the Hopi heaven.
When it comes to Zuni fetishes, “more than meets the eye” only begins to scratch the surface of all that lies behind these beautiful Native American carvings. In fact, the stories and history behind fetishes extend far beyond what many view as just a stone carving of an animal, encompassing spiritual and religious focuses that have spanned several centuries. Here, we would like to help educate you on the true meaning behind these lovely works of art that are, as you will see, much more complex and full of legend and history than you could have imagined.
Is honesty in the Native American jewelry business diminishing? Do you know what the origin of your jewelry is and what it is really made of? Here at Palms, we strive daily to give accurate and truthful information about the Native American art we buy and sell.
**Taken from Palms Trading Company Owner Guy Berger’s book, Pueblo and Navajo Contemporary Pottery and Directory of Artists, Second Edition**
Almost every day as we buy Pueblo pottery here at Palms Trading Company, I get asked the question, “How do you determine the value of each piece?” Well, the answer isn’t quite as simple as many people may think. It really takes many years of dealing with each artist and realizing that all artists have their own unique styles which determine the value of each piece.
Native American fetishes are hand-carved objects, believed to represent the spirits of animals or the forces of nature. For thousands of years, Native Americans have used fetishes in an effort to master the arbitrary and unpredictable forces beyond their control. Following is a list of the most common fetishes, along with their associated meanings and symbolism.