Learn About The Artists We Work With!
Native American Treasures’ Owner Debbie Maloney has a deep passion and knowledge of the Native American culture and its tribes. Her trusted relationships with the jewelry makers of the tribes are what ensures a satisfying experience for all. The jewelry makers know their pieces are going to the hands of someone who appreciates their history, and the customers value the story behind each treasure.
Here is a little bit about the tribes Debbie works with …
The Navajo tribe is composed of approximately 300,000 individuals and is the second most populous of all Native Americans in the United States. Most live in Utah, New Mexico and Arizona, and speak an Apachean language classified in the Athabaskan language family.
The Navajo religion’s traditions, rites and ceremonies are widely practiced, and are used for luck in travel or trade for the protection of crops and herds, or for curing physical or mental illness. Some rites are still performed today in the form of public dances or exhibitions with hundreds or thousands of Navajo in attendance.
The Zuni North American Indian tribe are deeply religious, and their complex ceremonies center on gods and spirit-beings they call Kachinas. They are a Pueblo Indian group, speak a Penutian language, and live in west-central New Mexico on the Arizona border.
Zuni are known for making high-quality turquoise and silver jewelry, pottery, beadwork, baskets, and animal fetishes. Most Zunis raise corn, squash, and beans.
The Hopi tribe has approximately 15,000 individuals and live in what is now northeastern Arizona on the edge of the Painted Desert. They herd sheep and grow corn, melons, squash, beans, and other vegetables. Instead of plowing their fields, they practice “dry farming” where they place windbreakers at certain intervals to retain soil, snow and moisture on the fields.
Masked dancers and hand-carved Kachina dolls are still part of the Hopi practices and ceremonies today. After the ceremony, the dolls are hung on the walls so tribe members can learn the characteristics of that Kachina.
Located between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, the Santo Domingo tribe is recognized as the most conservative of the Pueblos tribes with the richest traditions. They have a population of approximately 2,456 and speak Keres, an eastern dialect of the Keresan languages.
Santo Domingo enjoy making heishi, turquoise jewelry and pottery for the tourist market, and produce more curio pottery than any of the other Pueblos tribes combined. You will often see them selling their treasures over a 50 mile stretch on the transcontinental highway.