Native American Gifts

The Native American people were very spiritual and had a good understanding and respect for nature and the world around them. Often, they would give gifts to each other as a token of peace or of friendship. Gifts were also used to trade goods or services from one tribe to another. The types of Native American gifts varied from tribe to tribe. The Aztec Indians often gave beautiful jewelry made of silver and turquoise, while the Navajo liked to weave baskets, rugs, and blankets. Inuit tribe members from Alaska enjoyed giving small animal shaped sculptures or fur.

Today, people can still purchase Native American gifts through various retailers. Sculptures of Indian chiefs, prayer blankets, and art prints are popular choices. While the more modern versions of these items differ, they still carry the same spirit and style of the originals. True authentic gifts from the Native Americans were made of all natural materials such as fur, wood, reeds (for baskets), bone, natural fibers and cloth, and fruit or vegetable dye. Sculptures were often carved from animal bone, ivory, or rock.

Kachina dolls were another popular gift choice. These dolls stood as religious symbols and were commonly carved from roots. They originated in the Hopi Indian tribe but spread to other tribes as a common gift. The Kachina dolls were used to tell stories and teach children and were also a decorative item. These little dolls are a very important part of Native American culture and can still be purchased today. In most cases, the proceeds from the sales go towards assisting today's tribes.

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