Native American Culture/origin of these beads


Beads Unknown
Beads Unknown  

More bead photos
More bead photos  
I have some beads that I am trying to identify.  I got them from a silver jewelry dealer who only knows that he got them in Arizona.
Someone told me they look like (from pictures & description) antler.
I am trying to determine if they are just ordinary "old" beads or something very old and important.  I strung them just to get a good picture. They are heavy beads. I would appreciate any advice, perhaps a referral to someone who is an expert in the topic.
Thank you.  - Clyde

These appear to be of Northern African tribal tradition, possibly Bedouin, although they might also be West African. They are not made in any North American Indian tribal arts tradition that we're familiar with. There are tribal items from all over the world available to the trade in both AZ and NM regularly. They appear to have some age and are certainly worth re-stringing. A bit of teak oil applied lightly and rubbed completely off would restore the original wood color.

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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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