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The Indian Craft Shop

Indian Craft Shop in Washington DC

December 6, 2012Find us on Facebook







The lights are twinkling, the bells are ringing, the trees are decorated and it's gift buying time. To help you find those special gifts, The Indian Craft Shop is filled with unique items ranging from utterly fabulous to pure fun.  You can find the perfect gift for young and old, guys, gals and the entire family. 


From pendants and necklaces to cufflinks and belt buckles, if you're looking for jewelry, check out our jewelry cases and online store pages. And, as a bonus, add a book about jewelry and/or jewelers as well. For all of your interests or desires in jewelry, check out these pages.


Fetish carvings from the Zuni Pueblo make wonderful gifts for young and old alike. Perhaps a horse for the young rider or a bear or turtle to slip into a pouch for a youngster who loves animals, there's sure to be a fetish carving to delight everyone on your list.


Need a gift for the family? No problem! We have wall and tabletop sculptures, pottery, katsina dolls, and whimsical folk art. Not quite sure what that special person might want?  We have the answer: you can surprise them with a gift certificate so they can pick up just what they were looking for!  Check us out in person or shop our online store. Now, after you've found the perfect gift for everyone on your list, relax and enjoy your holidays!




The Sleeping Beauty Turquoise mine is named for its location in the Gila County, Arizona mountain range that resembles a sleeping woman.  This copper mine produces turquoise that ranges in color from chalky white to sky blue, with little to no matrix. This clear blue turquoise has been used by Zuni Pueblo jewelers in their petit point, needlepoint and inlay jewelry; by Navajo jewelers in stone settings and contemporary inlay; and by Hopi jewelers for their beads. Sleeping Beauty turquoise has become highly collectible and also is used by many American Indian jewelers across the country.


A wonderful example of natural Sleeping Beauty turquoise currently at The Indian Craft Shop is in a beautiful triple strand necklace by Hopi jeweler, Cheryl Yestewa.  The variations in the colors of the bright blue natural turquoise give an added sense of depth to this spectacular necklace of perfectly shaped, graduated beads finished with a handmade, sterling silver clasp. 




Cheryl Yestewa is one of the very few artists who works with natural turquoise in making her beads. It is not used often because up to 75% of the stone can be lost in the process. Cheryl cuts, drills, shapes and then polishes each bead, one by one. This process of working with natural, high quality stones is very difficult, requiring great skill and patience to create the beautiful shapes and stunning symmetry. Cheryl's triple strand is an ideal gift for that very special someone on your list.


If you are the owner of a piece with Sleeping Beauty turquoise - congratulations! If you aren't yet, now is the time to find the perfect necklace, pendant, earrings, bracelet, ring or belt buckle.


See examples of this fabulous turquoise in person at the shop and on our online store.





We are thrilled to have one of Kathy "Elk Woman" Whitman's (Mandan/Hidatsa/Arikira) award-winning recycled pieces, "Return of the Spiritual Ways," in the shop.  Made with Diet Pepsi cans, this buffalo stands 19 inches tall and features a wonderfully detailed texture and a commanding stance.

Speaking about the White Buffalo, Kathy Whitman states, "Our Native American culture holds the white buffalo in high regard. They are sacred to us. They are rare. When they appear, they bring us courage. In my tribe, the Mandan, the white buffalo was used in many sacred ceremonies, including marriage. The sacred white buffalo is considered wise...

In days of old, when it was killed for sustenance, our people used every part of the buffalo. Before it was taken, a prayer was said, out of respect and reverence and to show our appreciation. There was no waste. Everything had a purpose. Because the buffalo sustained us as a people in the past, they were and still are held in high regard. They still sustain us spiritually. This is why I created the buffalo from recycled aluminum cans, to remind us all how sacred life is and to be conscious of how we live, to take care of this sacred Mother Earth. That we, instead of being a wasteful, throw-away society, should embrace the old ways of balance and harmony."

New pottery from Barbara Gonzales (San Idelfonso Pueblo), the oldest great-granddaughter of Maria Martinez. Barbara is recognized for her etched designs and swish pots, which often have spiders inlaid in turquoise or coral. Her swish pots are enclosed and have small stone beads inside, which make a swishing noise when gently moved. She signs her pots with the name that was given to her by Maria, Tahn-Moo-Whe, which translates to Sunbeam. Barbara has been a practicing potter for over forty years and continues to pass along her family's time honored tradition. Her four sons and grandchildren are also recognized for their craft in pottery.






We have a wonderful selection of ornaments for your tree ranging from whimsical folk art animals to sandpainted glass balls. Think outside of the traditional shapes and add a miniature beaded doll or a small bow and arrow this year. Or maybe you'd be interested in hanging a hand painted fabric fish, horse or person on your tree this year. Come in and check out the selection. If you can't make it into the shop, give us a call or drop us an email; we can give you descriptions or send photos.




While we work diligently to add items to our online store, we always have a larger selection in the Shop. If you aren't able to visit the Shop and cannot find what you are looking for on our online store, send us an email or give us a call; we will be happy to help you with ideas, work with special requests, or email images and descriptions of items to you. We know schedules are busy and if you just can't make it in, be sure to ask what we can do to help bring art into your life!




We are happy to work out layaway plans for you and know this is a great way to enable purchases that just might be too much to handle at one time - give us a call and we will help with a layaway plan that works for you.




The Indian Craft Shop is open the third Saturday of each month from 10:00am - 4:00pm - our next third Saturday opening will be December 15. We look forward to seeing you!


Thank you for your continued support of the arts and we hope to see you soon!



Email Newsletter





In This Issue

The Holiday Season Is Upon Us!

Sleeping Beauty Turquoise

What's New In The Shop and Online

Holiday Ornaments

Personal Shopping Services and Shopping Online

Our Layaway Plans

Reminder: Open Saturday, December 15

News from the Interior Museum

News from the Department of Interior Library


Indian Craft Shop 
Retail Hours



Open on Saturday  

December 15, 2012  
10:00AM to 4:00PM


The Indian Craft Shop is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30am to 4:30pm, and the third Saturday of the month from 10:00am until 4:00pm. The Shop is closed on federal holidays.


A photo ID is needed for entrance to the building. 

During weekdays, visitors may use either the C Street or E Street entrances (E Street is closer for

 Metro riders). 

Handicap access is available at E Street.

(For weekend handicap access on E Street, contact the Shop at (202) 208-4056 ahead of time, if possible.)


Public Transportation

Farragut West (Blue and Orange Line) and Farragut North (Red Line) are the closest Metro stops. It is a six-block walk, or you can ride an 80 or S1 bus to 18th and C Streets. There is metered parking on the street and several parking lots within a few blocks.


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The Indian Craft Shop
U.S. Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, D.C.20240
(202) 208-4056

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