The Nixon Era Chinese Baskets made from common straw by Chinese Prisoners are back in force!! Listed as American/Canadian Indian made or Native American. They are listed as Sweetgrass but they are none of the above:
If you see a basket like this it is not Indian made and it isn't sweetgrass either. Report it to eBay as a violation of EBay's American Indian Listing policy. Also report it to the Indian Arts and Crafts board because it violates the Indian Arts and Crafts Law of 1990.
You can also Report any Fraud to the Consumer Sentinel of the Federal Trade Comission.
Help stamp out Fraud on Ebay.
I cannot believe the deterioration of business ethics of EBAY sellers,newbies, seasoned powersellers,auction houses,etc who consistantly list Chinese,indian,and ango made items as Canadian or American Indian. The Nixon Era Chinese straw stacking baskets are just the tip of the illegal activities as listings they are listed as Native American Sweetgrass baskets in the Collectible>Cultures,Ethnicities>NativeAmerican>pre 1940> Baskets categories. These unscrupulous sellers and dealers will sell out their reputation and the whole reputation of the rest of us for a few measly bucks.They do not seem to realize in the long run this activity and behavor ruins the Ebay market place for everyone trying to make a living! Pretty soon customers feel they may go to Ebay for a bargain but you may also go there to probably get burnt or ripped off by a thief on the internet of the worst type.
Make sure to ask plenty of questions whenever you purchase something to determine the provenance because a large number of items are being sold as Indian just because the seller thinks they look Indian or have a Indian on them.
Do not assume that the items that show up in the photo's on the right side of this guide are Indian made,most of them are not!
If you ask enough questions the seller usually will take the item off the listing and then attempt to place it on again later when he/she thinks no one is paying attention.
I wrote about this issue before in my own Chinese basket listings awhile back before eBAY Guides. I often paid and listed a series of the Colorful Chinese baskets at my own expense to educate sellers and buyers because I could see false listings were getting to be an epidemic nearly as bad as the chicken flu! At any given time you can type in Sweetgrass or sweetgrass basket and come up with several FAKE "Native" Indian baskets. Try it right now and see what you get.
I have one seller who eventhough confronted consistantly lies about these baskets and I hope that my Indian partner is saving copies of her listings because he will end up with her nice home when he files a lawsuit. I bought a basket similar from her last year.She had listed it as an Old Indian basket with a arrrowhead design. It is Chinese basket with a unique design that with a bit of stretch looks similar to a arrow head. LOL
I contact sellers every so often,to see if the education is helping, false sales tapered back for awhile,as soon as I quit monitoring the site the listings and prices for these fakes shot right back up. You can find them on live auctions too often with a starting bid of $50.00 and estimated at 100.00 to 200.00 dollars! Somebodys going to get ripped by these unscrupulous dealers! I would be leery of anything these dealers sell! SORRY they aren't there now ,you can't believe how quickly they removed those Fake listed baskets after I wrote and updated this quide.
This is what the stacking baskets look like with the Chinese tags still intact. They break them down and sell them individually for more profit. The complete matching stack with tags attached is rare.
I also go in read the lies and false information and buy the basket at flea markets,Auction Houses,antique shops,Indian Arts and Crafts Stores, etc. I then use them in lectures for examples on Fake baskets to educate interested collectors.Before Ebay I did the same thing because the this same invasion was occuring at flea markets, antique stores, and well known Auction houses with FAKE baskets and FAKE Navaho rugs made in Mexico.
Recently I attempted to purchase a Chinese basket listed as a Old Cherokee sweetgrass basket to photograph and use as an example in this guide.The seller tried to keep me from bidding or had a friend shill bid so I wouldn't get the basket. I simply used the bid sniper and bought the basket.She refused to send it she told me she informed EBAY that the basket was damaged! I said ,I would like a damaged basket? I really would.
She said it was damaged beyond repair!! Refused to honor the shaky agreement.
I would love to take it apart and photograph it to further educate the buyers of these baskets.She said in a final email "I destroyed it." Several sellers said they were misled by friends,even other ebay sellers,the truth is the baloney about these baskets has grown between the unscrupulous sellers like an urban myth to the extent that they support each other's falsehoods. Type Sweetgrass Basket in the Search engine right now, see how many of these baskets show up!What category are they listed in? Sweetgrass? That Chinese straw is not the Sacred Sweetgrass I have grown to appreciate from the indigenous people of the world, especially the Woodland Nations I have traded with for many,many, years.It is not the Hierochloe Odorata of the Northern Hemisphere.It is a simple grass straw they bring it by the bundles to the Chinese jails and prisons for the prisoners to weave these beautiful baskets.It was one of the first trade items out of China after Nixon opened the trade doors to begin the whole erosion of the balance of trade fiascoes.
The truth is these little prisoner stacking baskets,at the time, were mainly the only trade items available to flood the U.S. market after President Nixon opened the trade with China. The following Christmas the Chinese flooded the market with thousands of these little decorative red and green stacking baskets for the American Holiday. They haven't stopped flooding the U.S.A. with Christmas Items since. These baskets are actually extremely well made and attractive.They should simply be listed in the Chinese or decorative categories. Ironically the flood of Christmas goods from China has increased by billions and billions of dollars since this little basket first showed up.
Several sellers have wrote to me,I am a Christian I would never falsely list anything,but they certainly lie about the little Chinese basket! I have also received hate mail," who do you think you are the basket police?" "Mind your own business" and worse, but I consider Ebay my business and I don't want lying unscrupulous sellers/ dealers destroying the credibility of this great marketplace!
I have recently wrote another eBay guide on specific things Indian people can do if this False market is affecting their honest basket market. It is titled, How to win the game with the Indian Arts and Crafts Law of 1990.
You should be concerned to if you make your living on EBAY.Most people are, they are the one's who send the kind emails,thank you for bringing this to my attention or thank you for writing this guide. of course some say thank you and keep right on doing the same thing thinking they are going to get away with it because they have been thus far.
You can report the FAKE sellers to Ebay, or call The Fake Indian Art number at the Department of Interior there are major fines that are given for these false listings. When you see one or buy one listed falsely report it to FAKE INDIAN ART a toll free number 888 278 3253. These items are covered by the American Indian Arts and Crafts Law of 1990 because the sale of this item is a bread and butter issue for many American/Canadian Indians who are still making a few nice authentic handmade sweetgrass items for the market place. These unscrupulous sellers are taking the groceries right off their table!
See if you can pick out the two items in the photo that aren't Indian made?
UPDATE: The Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-644)
I knew it was just a matter of time before Indian people who are damaged by these FAKE SALES would realize that they can file individual civil cases in Federal Court against anyone who violates the law. It will put an end to the problem with the lack of enforcement of this law.
A recent Article in The Spectrum Southern Utah's Home Page, Titled Jeweler paying for inept meddling by U.S. Congress covers a case filed in Federal Court in Chicago by members of the Ho-Chunk Tribe of Wisconsin accuse a dealer of advertising an Indian Doll on the Internet that was made in China as Indian made. I quote:
Under the IACA any Indian may sue anybody who advertises products in a manner that falsely suggests they are made by Indians. IACA imposes a $1,000 penality per offense. Every day of advertising is a seperate offense even if the retailer truely believes the product is genuine Indian. Thus the liability exposure is $365.000
per year for every product advertised.
It is my understanding that all a Indian Person needs to do is purchase a Fake product off of Ebay copy every page of the listing and details and file a lawsuit in Federal Court these FRAUDULENT sellers into court and recieve a nice settlement as determined by the Federal Court.
A woman just had another one of those Chinese baskets listed in the Indian category on Ebay. When I questioned her, she told me that her mother kept her turquoise Indian Jewerly in it. LOLOLOL She felt that it must be Indian because of that. LOLOLOL
Ignorance is no EXCUSE when it comes to the LAW.
Thank you for reading this guide see what you can do to help get this FAKE and Look Alike fraud situation corrected. If you are American Indian buy the fake stuff and file a case in your local Federal Court! LOLOLOL You can share the plunder! LOLOLOL ALL the way to the BANK!
Answer to photo question,Moose in red Sweater,and the wool blanket.