You can almost hear the language of the drums and read the poetry of smoke rising into the sky. It’s a very special place.
All Nations Trading specializes all things Native American, such as authentic jewelry, dream catchers, medicine wheels, fetish carvings, bows and arrows, pipes, tomahawks, talking sticks, prayer feathers, labyrinths, music, arts and crafts, and more. You can also find gems from around the world.
Everything in the store is magic to the eyes, but perhaps the most remarkable display is the display case of inlay jewelry. Each stunning piece is meticulously handcrafted by Master Navajo and Zuni silver designers.
All Nations Trading owner Anita Earnest describes the exquisite nature of inlay jewelry. “Contemporary inlay jewelry is one of the most popular methods of jewelry making today,” Anita said. “Zuni artists of Western New Mexico were the first to perfect it. The Navajo people have always been very talented and creative in jewelry making and have now become one of the most popular groups in our country, both with inlay work and sterling silver with traditional nugget settings.”
Inlay jewelry is a lengthy, meticulous process. Each tiny bit is a small stone cut down to millimeter proportions and carefully inlaid into the piece. One design can have 50 or more inlaid pieces. It can take weeks.
“When you look at one little piece, lets say a little door in pueblo scene, a millimeter size stone, you know it takes a talented inlayer to create cuts like this,” Anita said. “Also, when you see a star in the Starry Night design it takes the artist 12 cuts just to make one star. Stones like turquoise, lapis lazuli, black jade, spiny oyster, picture jasper, tiger eye and opal are often used. Very complicated and very detailed scenes are composed in gorgeous wearable art pieces.”
Inlay jewelry is made by creating a masterpiece, like a form, with channels that are meant to have gemstones inlayed into them. Very small pieces of rocks and/or shells are hand cut and then inlaid in different angles. The gemstones are attached with a high strength epoxy and cured. After inlay is done, they go through a grinding, sanding and buffing procedure until everything is smooth. The final stage is when the sealer gets applied (usually in three layers) and then polished. Once the piece is finished you can’t feel any of the cuts.
“We carry the highest quality inlay work done by artists here in the US,” Anita said. “A large portion of inlay now comes as imported southwest style and done in factories overseas. This is totally different work and you can both feel and see it, but for the uneducated consumer it can be harder. Make sure you know what you are buying.”
Fine jewelry is just part of what you’ll find at All Nations Trading. Check out authentic Native American Dream Catchers, handmade by Native people, Navajo made ones come complete with authenticity tags and the legend.
There’s also a large assortment of Medicine Wheels. The sacred hoop of the Medicine Wheel symbolizes life as a continuous cycle and the four aspects of our nature – physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Most of all, the Medicine Wheel is said to be the bringer of beauty and balance, peace and harmony, and gratitude for all things.
Then there’s beadwork. All Nations Trading brings you the finest in fair trade Mayan beadwork from Guatemala. Purchase of Mayan beadwork helps this indigenous culture to remain the last native people on Earth not fully assimilated into the western world.
Don’t miss the impressive display of native artifacts. These artifacts are essential components of indigenous heritage. Look for Cherokee and Navajo ceremonial rattles, bows and arrows, and pipes. The pipes are fully functional, but they are not Peace Pipes, which are considered sacred and not offered for sale.
Are you a fan of Native American pottery? All Nations Trading carries works by known artists. This includes Navajo horsehair pottery, Pueblo, traditional hand coiled pottery, Creek pottery and Navajo etched pottery. You can also find local utilitarian mugs, bowls, and plates pottery.
There’s even more, but we don’t want to give it all away! You need to visit All Nations Trading to see what else is in the store. Owners Jim and Anita Earnest are always happy to meet you and answer your questions about Native American arts and crafts.
All Nations Trading is located at 514 North Main Street, right in the heart of downtown Hendersonville, North Carolina.
Phone: (828) 698-4888
On the web at SpiritFeather.com (Browse our Online Store!)
On Facebook at AllNationsTrading
On Incredible Towns at All Nations Trading