Native American Culture/Mystery Stirrup Vessels!


Old jars
Old jars  

Old jars
Old jars  
Hello. I recently received these 3 clay vessels and were "told"? they were hundreds of years old. I can not find any info or even a picture resembling these.  They seem to be a set of ceremonial vessels of some type. Small, medium, and large with the same markings on each. Looking inside they seem to have crushed bone or some other material mixed with the clay. These have a patina which appears to be very old. Dirt was present inside them. They are in very good condition sans one with a split under the handle which appears due to age. (shrinking clay) Does anyone have any idea where these came from and what are they?

From markings and general shape, they resemble some vessels I've seen for indigenous peoples inside what is now Mexico, but as far as specific markings meanings or identification, you'd have to check with someone with that specific experience. Regarding age, however, they seem unnaturally uniform in shape and construction for a hand made item, and appear to have been formed in a mold. I would expect that that would bring them forward in date to a point where souvenirs were first made for tourists. Hope this helps.  

Native American Culture

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Richard Sutton


As a direct reservation trader in all aspects of American Indian arts since 1985, I've answered questions regarding cultural property issues, origins of traditional crafts, materials and techniques, collecting, authenticity, symbols and, of course, repairs! We have operated a retail gallery since that time, bricks and mortar until 2007 and online since 1996. Our online operation closed in 2/2015, to allow me to finally write full-time. My writing site can be found at I'll be adding a book or two from our trader experiences under the pen name of W.T. Durand and the rest of my fiction is under my own name. We are not "New Age" practitioners of adopted American Indian religious ceremonies or combined philosophies. If you are seeking such knowledge for spiritual reasons, we will only provide answers that address factual information on these subjects. Unless one is raised in a traditional, American Indian family with language, culture and religious belief intact, we don't believe that simply applying the trappings or cultural property of a given traditional group will give a non-Indian (Native if you prefer)any insight other than the academic.


My primary focus is on Southwester American Indian Nations and their people, but I also have experience in Plains and Northeastern traditions, having engaged in active trade and retail since 1985 and study for most of my life. I am not claiming any expertise at all in the work, techniques, lifeways or crafts that are made by the Native People of Mexico. They are not the same, either linguistically or culturally but certainly their crafts deserve discussion and appraisal by those who are able to provide real information.

I was a guest on Fox Network "Lifestyles" program, during the 1990s, to discuss how to tell forgeries, and authenticating jewelry as Native American work. I have also written extensively for our website, and our Ebay Store.

UofO, 1970 active in the Authentic American Indian Arts business and direct Trader since 1985. Graphic Designer and published novelist.

©2016 All rights reserved.