Back in the early 1970s I found this at a local fleamarket benefit sale, in a large box of Native American stuff sent from Oklahoma to raise money for the opening of DQU, the first Native American university. The thrift store person said it was Sioux elk teeth necklace.A few years ago I sent the picture above to S. Homan, an expert in Native American art and antiquities. Homan said "The tooth of the elk has definitive ridges of different hues to it, on the opposite side of the smooth exterior...they are like rings or ridges with varying colorations.... "It is definitely Elk Tooth. Elk teeth were not rounded like the resin you see today. The colors on the cord are Cherokee, in my opinion. The piece is from about 1930s's; the cord being early to mid-20th century. However it is done in the old way. The way the knots are wrapped and tied. So someone knew what they were doing. A necklace piece like this has the meaning, 'my husband is a very good provider and I have standing in my tribe'. It is a woman's piece of course but it was a sacred and special piece to some one."
It's hard to part with this because I think it is valuable, but my wife doesn't like to wear it--she says it's too heavy, and my Grandson's birthday is coming up. We could get him an X-box 360 if I could sell this and some other old jewelry we have.... read more