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Native American Culture/American Indian Culture Today


I apologize in advance if I sound ignorant about any of this but my level of knowledge is very low. I'd like to learn more about the American Indian culture and religion that is present in today's society. I'm doing research for a story I'm writing and I would like to be able to reflect the culture appropriately. What are some of the tribes that are most present in today's society and how do traditions vary from tribe to tribe? I'm sorry if this is a broad question but I'd appreciate any information you give me on the topic. Thanks.

I can suggest three books which may help you get started. They should open up your interest and suggest further reading. Here they are:

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Wallace

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse by Peter Mattheissen

Talking God by Tony Hillerman

The first two are non-fiction, very passionate works about the historic record and the people of the Northern Plains and their on-going confrontation with the prevailing culture. The last is a mystery set in the Southwestern USA among the Navajo People by the late great master Tony Hillerman. Of the three, Bury My Heart should be read first.

There's a lot of material to cover to get a broad understanding. Enjoy your research.

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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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