How to Recognize Authentic Native American Art

Native American art honors and preserves the rich cultures of Native American people. Those in the market for Native American art know the value in investing in and treasuring this type of art. It’s important to know how to recognize what is authentic and what is not.

Whether the item is a sculpture, carving, doll, jewelry or other quality Native American product, it may seem hard to sift out fakes to find the real gems. Here are some easy-to-follow tips to ensure you are getting what you pay for as well as contributing toward the economic well-being of the individuals who created them.

Get Proof of Authenticity

Whether it’s an official certification tag or other proof, it’s advisable to get these supporting materials when making a purchase. If an official certification tag does not come with your product, make sure your receipt includes detailed product descriptions.

Do Your Research

Research the specific medium of Native American art you are looking to buy as well as reputable sellers of Native American art. This will empower you when making your purchase because you will be a knowledgeable buyer and you will ask educated questions.

Look for Clues

When purchasing Native American art, the appearance, material used and price of the piece are often strong indicators of authenticity.

  • Appearance: Authentic Native American art is handmade and will have visual variations among the same items. No two items will be exactly the same.
  • Material: Do your research on the specific tribe or region and find out what materials were commonly used for creating art. If the materials seem inappropriate, cheap or more modern, the item may not be authentic.
  • Price: Native American art requires craftsmanship to produce such unique and beautiful pieces, and the price should reflect that.


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