- New Mexico
Tradition. That's the best way to describe the craftsmanship of U.S. Native American tribes.
Members of these tribes — whether they're the Navajo, the Pueblo or the Hopi — leave their legacy with hand-crafted goods, along with the artistry and techniques that go into making them. There's no more immersive way to learn about the rich culture and history of Native Americans in different regions of the United States than by visiting some of the trading posts and even pueblo villages to peruse and purchase a vast array of authentic goods from their collections. So from New Mexico to Wisconsin, here are five places where you can buy authentic Native American crafts and jewelry.
Cocopah in Sedona, Arizona
Cocopah earned its claim to fame as Arizona's oldest bead store. This historic shop in the Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village also features a large selection of Zuni earrings and beautiful turquoise beads. If the authentic jewelry and crafts offered here don't catch your eye, you can opt for a Navajo necklace or bracelet kits with locally made beads for a do-it-yourself project.
Cameron Trading Post in Cameron, Arizona
Cameron Trading Post is a historic destination fully stocked with handmade jewelry, crafts, home decor and other collectibles. The trading post has been showcasing Native American crafts since 1916 and you'll also find an old-fashioned convenience store and floral gardens at the site, ripe for exploring. You can visit the art gallery and gift shop to admire the vast selection of handcrafted goods, including Navajo rugs, Hopi Kachina dolls and silver and turquoise jewelry. Or stop by the restaurant to try Navajo beef stew and Navajo tacos before taking in the views of the Grand Canyon region surrounding the trading post.
Bolo ties in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Indian Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico
You'll find plenty of handcrafted items at the Santa Fe Indian Market, an outdoor flea market-style event that's been held in downtown Santa Fe every August since 1922. The market began as the Indian Fair and soon included judged art and craft competitions. Today, more than 1,000 artists exhibit and sell their creations at this market, one of the only places in the world where you can see so many talented Native American artists gather in one place.
Taos Pueblo, New Mexico
Taos Pueblo is one of the few places in the U.S. where Native American tribes still reside. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this adobe settlement of the Pueblo Indians of Arizona and New Mexico is open to the public, with many tribe members selling their handmade wares. You won't find traditional storefronts in this town, but can explore the settlement to see the hand-built, multi-story adobe homes that date back to the late 13th and 14th centuries, meet local residents and buy distinctive pieces of jewelry and other handmade crafts from locals.
Marketplace plaza in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Silver Eagle in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
Silver Eagle continues to be the largest Native American gallery in the southeast Wisconsin region. This venue houses handcrafted jewelry and authentic Native American merchandise from 20 different Native American nations. It's a haven for anyone looking for jewelry, sand paintings, handcrafted Kachina dolls and carvings. Owner Celeste Ewald has been selling Native American pieces at this trading post-inspired store for more than 15 years. Make some time to browse here, as you can shop a wide collection of jewelry handcrafted by Navajo, Hopi and Zuni tribes, handwoven Zapotec rugs and mats, Navajo sand paintings and Southwest accent pieces.
Make a pit stop at any of these destinations to see some of the finest collections of handmade goods from Native American tribes. You can also learn more about places to experience Native American culture here.