Ílį́įgo naalyéhé diidlííd "Hallmark" "RAE" Naashtʼézhí

Yá’át’ééh Shik’is
Shí éí Shih-chai Jefe
yinishyé “bijíniyah hahoodzo” dóó “Wááʼóómii hahoodzo” naashá
Doo shił bééhózin da bee Ílį́įgo naalyéhé diidlííd “Hallmark” “RAE” Naashtʼézhí
Shíká anilyeed, t’áásh’áko?


Yá’át’ééh Shik’is
Bilagáana bizaadísh dinitsʼaʼ?

sorry my Navajo is very limited. Love to assist you…


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That’s OK. I answered my own question about a piece of Zuni Jewelry with an unknown Hallmark of RAE.
I looked in my books and came up with 2 possibilities.

This was an Ebay listing…and a lot of Ebay things are listed as Native American when they are definitely not.

It’s too bad that Ebay has no intention of enforcing the 1990 Native American Arts and Crafts Law.
There are plenty of things that violate that law and are still being sold with Ebay’s knowledge.

I found a Zuni Gem Stone Bear Fetish on Ebay. The stated Tribal Affiliation was Zuni…and “handcrafted and hand carved by a Zuni artist”. The Seller adamantly insisted it was a real Zuni fetish. I found the same exact thing on Etsy. It was made of resin which is a fancy word for plastic and correctly identified as Zuni “STYLE”. I proved to Ebay that this listed “Zuni Gemstone Fetish” was just a piece of plastic that was probably made in China. Ebay did nothing…

Out of curiosity, I bid on a Souix “reservation made” beaded fetish. I lived in Wyoming for several years and also lived in Montana so I am familiar with the tribes that do bead work. I spent some time on the Pine Ridge Souix reservation. My most recent “tribal visit” was to Chinle for 17 days and I stayed with my friend who worked for the Navajo Indian Health Services…

There are 12 Sellers that have sold and listed the same beaded Eagle Fetish on Ebay in the past 60 days.
The stated dates range from 1890, 1800-1935, early 1900, 1935 plus. These Eagle fetishes have the exact same pattern and dimensions. None of them are missing beads. All of them look pristine and are made of soft and supple"buck skin".
None of these listings state the name of the artisan. They are all the same and one Seller told me that they were purchased (in bulk) in Illinois. I reported these Eagle fetishes and some Lizard beaded ones…So far, I thing Ebay has removed one listing.

As soon as I can I am closing my Ebay Account. I may start documenting and sending this information to the US Department of the Interior. I already wrote one letter but who knows if they will respond. My guess is that I am just wasting my time.

The Zuni and Navajo have always been the Artisans that were most affected by these non-native american Fakes and Reproductions. Nowadays, it seems that bead work is very desirable and lucrative on Ebay… and someone is flooding the Ebay Market with contemporary reproductions.


One other thing I noticed on Ebay: many pieces of jewelry are listed as “Old Pawn.” even pieces that are obviously Brand New.

What a crock!


Well said and true! I don’t do much ebay these days because of all the things you mentioned. I gave up on making beadwork for sale long ago. The time is not appreciated or compensated properly; generally. I reserve my beadwork for special people and things in my life. I suspect most of the knock offs are originating in China.

True fact about “Old Pawn”. That meaning has been misrepresented so much that today it is synonymous with any age Native American jewelry. I may have had my hands on Old Pawn 10 times my whole life! Hard to educate the masses these days!!