QUESTION: I have been researching a turtle I bought at a garage sale last weekend. The label reads “Indian Made Pipestone Craft.” It measures about 2 3/4 inches long and 2 inches across the shell. I do not feel right about selling it on ebay. I will if there isn’t an issue. Please let me know if I should contact someone who would want this back or if it is disrespectful to sell it.
Submitted by Elizabeth G.
This turtle effigy is what is known in the indian arts and craft trade as a fetish. Generally, native americans aren’t particularly offended if you sell fetishes, on ebay or otherwise, unless they are burial items taken from grave sites, which this one clearly isn’t, or if they have been used as a ceremonial object, which I would strongly doubt with this piece because it is clearly labled for the tourist trade. Selling a fetish, in general, is not considered offensive.
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