Native American Culture/ID & info on silversmith

Advertisement


Question
Good evening        I recently purchased a lovely heavyweight, 30.3 grams, ladies sterling cuff bracelet......I am an admirer of Navajo jewelry  (partial to the Tahe group), & own several pieces.....This bracelet is hallmarked   WASGO  55 & STERLING.....there is only 1 other piece on ebay by this artist, & the dealer has checked his books, & was unable to find any info on him or her, except that they are or were Navajo.. Would appreciate anything you could find out.....Thank you in advance for your anticipated assistance......    Gale

Answer
It would help if you could send me images of the hallmark (close-up and sharp and the overall work, in a follow-up question. Anyone can use a stamp to sign work, even non-Indian silversmiths. I haven't heard of this hallmark, "WASGO 55" or seen the work, but images might help.

Native American Culture

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Richard Sutton

Expertise

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 www.sailletales.com 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.

Experience

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.

Publications
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, www.kivatrading.com and our Ebay Store.

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

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.