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Richard Sutton

As a direct reservation trader in all aspects of American Indian arts since 1985, I've answered questions regarding cultural property issues, origins of traditional crafts, materials and techniques, collecting, authenticity, symbols and, of course, repairs! We have operated a retail gallery since that time, bricks and mortar until 2007 and online since 1996. Our online operation closed in 2/2015, to allow me to finally write full-time. My writing site can be found at I'll be adding a book or two from our trader experiences under the pen name of W.T. Durand and the rest of my fiction is under my own name. We are not "New Age" practitioners of adopted American Indian religious ceremonies or combined philosophies. If you are seeking such knowledge for spiritual reasons, we will only provide answers that address factual information on these subjects. Unless one is raised in a traditional, American Indian family with language, culture and religious belief intact, we don't believe that simply applying the trappings or cultural property of a given traditional group will give a non-Indian (Native if you prefer)any insight other than the academic.

Dr. Frank Waabu O'Brien

Specialize in the extinct languages of Massachusett and Narragansett. Can answer general questions in most other areas, except genealogy-specific, pertaining to Indians of Southern New England (RI, MA, CT).

Recent Answers

2017-04-06 arrowheads:

When I was a kid, Theo, most collections of arrow and projectile points were the real thing, but in the past thirty years or so, the art of hobbyist flint or obsidian knapping has gotten so widespread

2017-03-31 Native american Bowl and Carving:

I'm afraid I'm not going to be able to be much help. The mask, I'm almost certain, is African, since it resembles many of the Antelope family that are found on the Plains there. The bowl, while it features

2017-03-16 squash blossom:

This wonderful necklace appears to be Zuni work. It's an early example of "Needlepoint" stone lapidary and setting. The blossoms also show a form of the shadowbox setting that evolved to become quite popular

2017-03-03 Native American symbols:

All around the world, humans developed symbolic communications for all kinds of different reasons. Everywhere, these are still in sue, although the original meaning may be lost, they still serve an important

2017-03-01 Native American representation in school curriculums:

Dear Writer    Thank you for this question on an important issue.  While this topic is outside my area of expertise,  I would recommend material from the Smithsonian Institution.  The following website

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