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  • Artisan Information Needed


    I have a question concerning non-native artisans. I have received questions concerning this subject from a few students of mine, your assistance is greatly appreciated.

    What is the necessary requirements and procedures for a non-Native artist to be permitted to make Native American crafts and art?

    Thnk you in advance for your time.

    Be well,

    Douglas Reagan, Ph.D.

  • #2
    There are none... the requirements to sell it as native american artistry or native made would be to be a recognized, enrolled, native american... Here is a link to the legalities on this subject.

    Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear... just sing, sing a song.sigpic


    • #3
      actually, there is a way, you have to be *offically* "certified" as an 'indian artisan' by an *federally recognized tribe. It's in the law you cited, blackbear. However, i have NEVER heard of a non-indian actually getting this certification.

      If you arent enrolled in a *federally recognized tribe, or have received this 'certification' (state recognition and state incorporated indian social organizations do *not count) then there is no way to call your crafts indian made.



      • #4
        Tara he is just asking if he has to have some legal permission to just DO the arts... which I am guessing he is not meaning arts, but more like crafts. There is no law against it even if some of us wish there was LOL!!! I just sent him the legalities about selling them
        Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear... just sing, sing a song.sigpic


        • #5
          Thank you for the replies, please allow me to clarify...

          I have been making various Native American crafts for over 25 years. I do not sell any items, however I have entered them in various shows.

          As an academian, I aware of the controversies which surround the subject. Also, although I have a Grandfather listed upon the Dawson Rolls, I have never attempted to apply for enrollment with the Cherokee Nation.

          Thank you for your insight and references. My purpose was solely to find out if I may have been in violation of the Federal Law. I am confident in the knowledge that many Nativre Americans may not like the ideas of a "non-Native" making crafts, I never wished to offend.

          Be well,

          Douglas H. Reagan, Ph.D., FRSA


          • #6
            Douglas, If you are entering your work in art shows, just make sure you identify them as reproductions or native-inspired. You might want to look into getting your CDIB card for 'lineal descent' if you have a grandfather who you know is on the rolls. ... i dont know what the procedure is, (it's through the BIA, right?)



            • #7
              Thanks for the Information Tara!

              I had heard about the CDIB, however I was never exactly certain whom to contact.

              When I have presented items I have made, I took some ideas from a Museum Studies course I did as an undergrad and list anything I show as:

              "Native American Reproduction, (c. 18xx) Non-Native Craftwork"

              I have had Native artisans tell me this clasification keeps me out of trouble.

              Be well,



              • #8
                They advised you well. Consider this though...if they can sell dreamcatcher, roach, moccasin , bustle, patterns and so many other kinds of KITS to anyone...then there should be no question to whether it is legal or not... BUT sure you are not using protected materials like most bird feathers (unless sold in a craft store, assume it is illegal), ivory, some kinds of claws and teeth... you know, stuff like that.
                Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear... just sing, sing a song.sigpic


                • #9
                  I really appreciate your thread, Dr. Reagan. I have seen many non-native made crafts heralded as authentic works and this deeply bothers me. I am glad you took the time to find out if it is acceptable or not. Now if only more non-native people had the respect you have exemplified. Thanks!



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