One of the things people do when they travel is to go shopping – particularly us women. What can I say, sometimes we can’t help it. So on my first official trip to Sedona. I’ve decided to do some retail therapy on afternoon at the historic city center. Here are some of the products commonly sold in this part of Arizona. Some of these products are found/mined around there. Others are based on the culture of the natives that lives here.
Navajo pottery – most of the land within the state of Arizona is Navajo country. There are the largest tribe of Native Americans in the country with the largest reservation. One of the best ways to study any culture is by the pottery its people create. The Navajos has their own designs and colors to identify their culture. The Navajo pottery I saw in shops has certificates authenticated with the Navajo artists that created them. This includes their names and photos. This is a good indication you are purchasing the real deal, at the same time supporting the livelihood keeping their cultural heritage alive.
Navajo sandpaintings – also called dry painting, the Navajos have been doing sandpaintings for centuries. The images they create for sandpainting, translates as the places where the gods come and go. It is often used for curing ceremonies requesting the goods for healing and a good harvest. They are images and representations of stories in Navajo mythology. Traditionally, sandpaintings are done on the ground but the ones you will see in Sedona are framed art made especially for visitors.
Navajo woven products – baskets, rugs and mats with Native American motifs are also available here. Traditionally woven products like these are made for utilitarian purposes to the Native Americans. But these products may have been made to satisfy the visitors’ retail needs but they are nicely made and mostly decorative.
Anything turquoise and silver – This is my favorite products. This would include jewelry, belt buckles and even home goods and decorative arts. There are and were several silver mines in Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico along with turquoise mines. These are probably the most portable yet precious purchases you can buy in this part of the country.
Other semi-precious stones – these stones can be found either in the form of jewelry or simply polished stones. During my shopping trip, I found carnelians, onyx, pale amethysts, tiger’s eye, agate, rose quartz, and lapis lazuli, all available for purchase.
Dreamcatchers – This is another one of my favorite Sedona products because no other culture has anything like this. They come in different sizes and colors. Some are even authenticated by the artists who made them. Legend says dreamcatchers were hung in lodges and teepees to ensure peaceful dreams. Good dreams would know their way through the webbing, bad dreams would get entangled in the web and would melt away at first light. Who would not want to have a good night sleep every night.
When I travel, sometimes I couldn’t help myself but enter shops just to see what they have. I did make some purchases during my trip to Sedona.
Some of these products may be decorative however, this is the first time in a long time I have seen products in shops authenticated. You will not find this in most shops when you travel. Most of the products out here may have been were produced in a commercialize sort of way, perhaps mass produced and identical. The Native American products I found in Sedona are either natural (products of the Earth) or made by artisans with their signatures at the bottom. As far as I am concerned these authenticated products are the best souvenirs a traveler can collect and take home.