As the Southwestern look becomes more popular, there is a greater demand for Native American market gifts. While some people are merely interested in decorating their home, others are more fascinated by the artwork itself. To these folks, it is often very important that an item be authentically made. Although there are many dealers that specialize in true Native American artwork, collectors are advised to research their item of interest before making a purchase.
Since the Native American market has become a very profitable business, there are more dealers than ever offering products for sale. No matter what your collecting interest, chances are you can locate a dealer with relative ease. However, not all dealers are extremely knowledgeable when it comes to Native American art. Some may be merely reselling items after purchasing them from another vendor or dealer. These dealers may be misinformed about the actual origin of an item.
If possible, you should try to select a seller who specializes in this area. You’ll want to deal with someone who has a thorough understanding of the history of Native American crafts. For example, some tribes are well known for their pottery creations while others are more proficient in creating rug work or clothing items. The dealer you purchase from should be able to tell you what materials were used to handcraft the item and what tribe or region it was made in. Some collectors mistakenly think that all authentic artwork will contain a signature. However, this is not a requirement and some artists may choose not to do so.
Purchasing Native American market items from a museum is an alternative choice to buying directly from the dealer. If you do not feel comfortable contacting a dealer, there are several museums in the Southwestern states that offer Native American gifts for sale to the public. In addition to purchasing a souvenir, you can also learn a great deal about Native American customs and culture.