American Native Arts and Antiques

Exceptional Current and Vintage Native American Arts

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Brave & Butterfly Talking Stick  - entire front of stick


Midnight Whitecaps basket

Midnight Whitecaps - a significant work by Penobscot artist/basketmaker Sarah Sockbeson evokes foamy waves atop a stormy sea on a moonless night. A similar basket by Sarah took 2nd place in basketry at the 2018 Heard Museum's Indian Market show. (see photo of this work w/ribbon it won below) This tall vase shaped basket has porcupine curls over alternate ash splint weavers.

Magenta Points & Curls

This basket with the slice of deer antler as it's handle, it is of magenta and natural ash colors. It is by Sarah Sockbeson, Penobscot basketmaker and has has both porcupine curls and round curlicue curls. The antler handle balances it perfectly. Sarah says this is her "medium wide" stlye.

Moose Root Club - Entire length, right side

Please view all photos in slideshow format which will expand some of them to full size showing you in some full length of the club, in others more of the club's designs. Click on any photo below to open the slide show.

Root Club - Russell Joe, Penobscot

Root Club by Russell Joe with his distinctive carved and painted chief's face, painted chip carved handle; C/1940-50. 27" long, handle is about 3" diameter at top, 2.5" diameter at bottom - root bundle is about 9" across and 9" deep.

Rabbit Smoking Pipe; Birch Bark Mukuk

Barry Dana has used a traditional technique called scrape work to illustrate a Penobscot legend, that of "Rabbit Smoking His Pipe" on this birch bark mukuk. Scrape work is done by gently and slowly scraping away the very thin outer layer of the winter bark to reveal the lighter surface beneath.

Vine design Crooked knife

This crooked knife is an older one - at latest the 1880's and quite likely earlier. The handle has an incised vine/vegetal design that can also be found on older Maine Indian root club handles. Some root clubs with this design date to the mid-1700's. The handle of this crooked knife has this design on the top of the handle; back, top and sides.

Molly Ockett's Medicine Basket

Former Chief Barry Dana, Penobscot calls this birch bark container "Molly Ockett's Medicine Basket. This basket is a tribute to Molly Ockett, who was reputed to be a skilled healer and wise woman with a singular sense of humor. She was well known by European settlers in the area and her name is still attached to numerous locales in the Androscoggin River valley and surrounding territory.

Beaded heart medicine pouch

This exquisitely beaded medicine pouch is by Jennifer Sapiel Neptune, Penobscot.

Snout Club, Stan Neptune

The root club is a truly Maine Indian item - There just don't seem to be examples of these in any other area. Made from the root ball and trunk of a small birch tree, the root club has been documented to have been made pre-European contact. Traditionally used as weapons some later ones were thought to have ceremonial or spiritual use.