shop jewelry and home goods by indigenous artisans with etsys new collab

<img class="img-sized__img landscape" alt="A polymer clay necklace and beaded Losi earrings by Taylor Gutierrez’s shop KamamaBeadwork, and Kate Sultuska from SweetgrassReign hand-beading.” width=”720″ height=”405″ src=”https://img.huffingtonpost.com/asset/634437681f0000390088cfc1.jpg?ops=scalefit_720_noupscale”>

A polymer clay necklace and beaded Losi earrings by Taylor Gutierrez’s shop KamamaBeadwork, and Kate Sultuska from SweetgrassReign hand-beading.

There are countless historical examples of Native cultures and populations being stripped away through colonization efforts right here in North America. Thankfully, the spirit and identities of many of these groups remain intact, particularly through artistic traditions.

In an effort to undo some of the harm of colonialism and recognize the significance of Indigenous art, Etsy partnered with Nest, a nonprofit aimed at advancing global workforce inclusivity, to create the Indigenous Artisans Collective, which launched on Indigenous Peoples Day earlier this week.

Dinah Jean, senior manager of social innovation at Etsy, told HuffPost that historic artisan communities may have traditionally lacked access to the digital economy. As part of the online marketplace’s larger Uplift Makers Program, Jean hopes this initiative can help such makers connect with a thriving internet community in order to earn meaningful income and, most importantly, celebrate their own cultures in the process.

The program also provides peer mentors from a group of existing Indigenous artisans with Etsy shops to help the makers in the collective gain entrepreneurial advice and guidance.

For April Toledo, an Indigenous Artisans Collective member and owner of the shop Juniper Dreams by April, the deeply rooted practice of artisan crafts is essential to preserving the cultural biodiversity of indigenous peoples and ending the white-induced erasure of their identities.

“It’s a way for Native people to bring a piece of their culture into their day-to-day lives and honor it there, or for anyone to appreciate and wear it as well. Continuing the traditions of making these items means the culture is alive,” Toledo said.

The unique and handmade items produced by the collective range from intricately beaded jewelry to sewn moccasins to ornamental wood pieces. Each one utilizes traditional methods and materials unique to a specific community or tribe.

“It is sometimes easier to share a cultural idea with a tangible item than just words alone. This can open the door to bigger conversations and a better understanding of Indigenous people today.””

– April Toledo, Indigenous Artisans Collective

“It is sometimes easier to share a cultural idea with a tangible item than just words alone. This can open the door to bigger conversations and a better understanding of Indigenous people today,” Toledo said.

While we’re a long way from addressing all the harm done to Indigenous people, supporting their artistic endeavors and sharing in their stories is a great way to start. Below, you can shop some of these maker’s small businesses and explore their incredible handmade art.

HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Every item is independently selected by the HuffPost Shopping team. Prices and availability are subject to change.

1
Etsy/SweetgrassReign
Sweetgrass Reign
Kate Sultuska’s shop, Sweetgrass Reign, focuses on Indigenous values and cultural identity while also bringing much needed attention to Native causes. Here you can find a mix of contemporary housewares such as hand-poured soy candles in upcycled vintage vessels and statement mugs, as well as accessories like earrings and beaded beanies.
2
Etsy/Coppercanoewoman
Copper Canoe Woman
ƛ̓áqvas gḷ́w̓aqs (Copper Canoe Woman), whose English name is Vina Brown, first learned to sew, bead and weave from the maternal figures in her life growing up in unceded Haíłzaqv territory in British Columbia. To this day, Brown incorporates the artistic practices of her lineage into the jewelry featuring abalone, wood, shell, precious stones and other materials, sourced right from her territory.
3
Etsy/KamamaBeadwork
Kamama Beadwork
KamamaBeadwork shop owner Tayler Gutierrez resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma and is enrolled with the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. True to Cherokee tradition, Gutierrez hand crafts one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry using glass seed beads, fine metals and smoked moose hide, receiving inspiration from her surroundings and old Cherokee beadwork.
4
Etsy/JuniperDreamsByApril
Juniper Dreams By April
April Toledo, an affiliate of the Navajo nation, first learned the intricate craft of beading from her grandmother. In Toledo’s shop, Juniper Dreams By April, you can find vibrant beaded accessories that incorporate traditional concepts that can easily be worn in modern settings.
5
Etsy/LewBlessedCreations
Lew Blessed Creations
Raised between an Indian Township and an Indian Island reservation in Maine, Jeanne Lewey of Lew Blessed Creations, a member of the Penobscot Nation, was heavily influenced by soap-making using natural ingredients and traditional techniques. In her shop, you can find artfully crafted soaps containing wild-harvested Blue Glacier clay, essential oils, milk, activated charcoal, French green clay and more.
6
Etsy/OklahomaThirtyNine
Oklahoma Thirty Nine
Jennifer Reeder of Oklahoma Thirty Nine is a member of the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma and has ancestral ties to the tribes that historically inhabited regions of east Texas, southern Arkansas and more. Reeder says that her jewelry designs are a “modern interpretation of tribal culture, history, and beliefs.” She uses various materials in her jewelry making such as bones, shells and semi-precious stones.
7
Etsy/SamanthaJacobsArt
Samantha Jacobs Art
The goods you can find in Samantha Jacobs’ shop utilize different artistic and Indigenous practices including beading, tufting and traditional clothing. Affiliated with the Seneca Nation of Indians in Cattaraugus Territory, Jacobs first began sewing her own traditional clothing as a child while part of a dance troupe, when she would make new outfits after she outgrew her old ones.
8
Etsy/HousofHopkins
Hous of Hopkins
Kathryn Hopkins is Seneca and Iroquois Native who specializes in crafting jewelry and handbags made with materials such as fur, glass seed beads, textiles and more. What differentiates her Iroquois technique from other traditional designs is that her beadwork is often raised, while other tribes and nations traditionally use flat beadwork.
9
Etsy/MaryJacobsDesigns
Mary Jacobs Designs
Mary Jacobs is affiliated with the Seneca Nation and currently resides on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation in New York, where she grew up. Jacobs started the art of beadwork as a young girl and now creates updated functional items based from traditional Haudenosaunee designs, each piece often inspired by the world around her. In Jacobs’ shop, Mary Jacobs Designs, you can find handmade jewelry, accessories and home decor such as picture frames, men’s ties and beaded purses.
10
Etsy/CampbellDesignsGifts
Campbell Designs Gifts
Named after her maternal Cherokee family line, Campbell Designs Gifts is Shilow Campbell’s Etsy business that features the art of wood-making and her culture as a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and an Indigenous Mexican. Using locally sourced materials, Campbell makes everything from clocks to table centerpieces to blanket ladders and jewelry.

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