Laws Governing Native American Artifacts

Laws Governing Native American Artifacts

Native American artifacts are extremely popular on the collectibles market, not to mention beautiful and fascinating. However, there are strict laws governing their purchase and sale, so if you’re interested in collecting Native American artifacts, or think you may have found something worth selling, it’s worthwhile to educate yourself about a couple of these laws to avoid any trouble or nuisance.

Ask yourself these questions before anything else:

Where did it come from?

Many laws prohibit taking Native American artifacts from Native American and federal lands without a permit. These lands include national forests, national parks and Bureau of Land Management land. Individual states, counties and cities have also passed their own laws–when in doubt, it’s best to call and check.

In the past, unscrupulous dealers have ransacked gravesites and other historic sites for artifacts and these laws help prevent incidences of that. What if you want to search for artifacts? Only do so on privately owned land, with the permission of the owner. On private land, all artifacts found are the property of the owner, with the exception of human remains.

What is it made of?

If the object is wholly or partly made from animal parts from an endangered or protected species, like eagles or other migratory birds, its sale is prohibited under the Endangered Species Act. This applies to antiques, too–not just new objects. This law is meant to prevent the killing of endangered or protected animals to make artifacts for sale.

Kachina House only sells authentic, legal arts and crafts created by the indigenous peoples of North America. Browse the website, visit our Sedona store, or give us a call at 866-587-0547 and purchase stunning jewelry, baskets, pottery, kachina dolls and other artifacts with confidence!

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