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Paula says - "This bear fetish from the Cryer Creek Collection was purchased by the former owner somewhere between 1950 and 2010 - it is of undetermined age. All the information we have is listed here.
"In my opinion, this bear shows all the design characteristics and workmanship of being Native American made. But because there is no hallmark that we can attribute to a specific artist we can't legally sell it as Native American made - read more."
What is a Fetish?
A fetish is a rock of an animal that captures the spirit and the essence of the animal, not necessarily its exact detailed conformation. Read more about fetishes.
Bear is considered the most powerful of all of the animals and is one of the most popular subjects of fetish carvers. Bear is a spiritual guide and represents strength and self-knowledge. He has supernatural powers, great healing powers. Bear is a symbol deliberate action, introspection, soul and insight for the past and the future. The Bear is the guardian of the West an is one of the animals of the Six Directions. The most powerful medicine bear is White Bear.
The jewelry and artifacts in this collection were gathered by a man born in 1933 and who has been collecting for over 60 years. He has a great love of Native American people, their culture and customs and their art. Living and working most of his life in Texas, he has been particularly drawn to Lakota, Comanche, Apache, Pueblo, Navajo and Zuni pieces. We will be listing items from his collection over the next year, so keep an eye on the Newly Listed Items page.
Horsekeeping LLC - Definitions of Jewelry Age and Condition
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|A dark or colored film of oxidation that forms naturally on metal exposure to air and other elements. It is often valued for its aesthetically pleasing appearance.|
|30 years or older.|
|New Old Stock. Retail store inventory from at least 10 years ago.|
|An item that has been used.|
Why isn't this item called Native American?
The US Department of the Interior Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 and its recent Amendments require that items described as Native American or Indian be made by an enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe. Furthermore, government regulations suggest that all attributions include the Native American Indian's name, tribe and federal tribal enrollment number. Because it is impossible to identify the artist for many vintage items, even if they are authentic Indian made items, we cannot and will not use the words Native American or Indian in association with such pieces.
Our Rescue Mission
We are in the vintage Native American jewelry rescue business and are passionate about finding new homes for used and vintage jewelry and artifacts. That's why we purchase Native American pieces from estates, inheritances, collection downsizing and New Old Stock (NOS) inventory from closed stores.
Often people contact us after taking a box of Native American jewelry to their local pawn shop and find that a pawn shop is mainly interested in melt value of the metals and not in preserving the beautiful historic pieces. To hear that people have considered selling these treasures for melt value makes us truly sad.
Melt value is usually far below what we would offer for the jewelry. Yet we can't pay retail price for items because of the time and cost involved in finding new homes for them. We have to research, often repair and restore the jewelry, photograph and list each item on our website, and sometimes hold pieces in inventory for years until the right buyer comes along.
We hope you'll find something special in our vintage shop that will complete yet another circle of our jewelry re-homing mission.