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Native American Culture/Brooch: Dragonfly / Flying Fish?



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I have had this brooch for years and have never found its equal. I did find nearly the same earrings (small hook dangled) once  but the online seller knew nothing about them. When I did acquire the brooch, it was from an estate sale and was in a box of other old old jewelry. Not sure if it's Mexican or Native American and hoping upon hope for a little more info on age and genesis. Thank you so much.

The style and execution of the work could conceivably be Southwestern American Indian work, as the subject, the Dragonfly, is a powerful Spring symbol among the Pueblo People and the Zuni and Hopi, but without any marking it would be very hard to prove unless compared with similar, known work by a recognized smith. I'd date it to the 1940s, possibly earlier. While it might certainly be non-Indian, the lack of markings actually does point to a Pueblo silversmith as this was typical for Pueblo silversmiths, say from Cochiti Pueblo, not to sign their work until recent times. In any case it is a very unique, beautiful item. Hope this helps.  

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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.

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