One of the most fascinating and fun places to buy Christmas gifts for loved ones and friends is from one of the many trading posts spread across the nation. You will find many unusual as well as practical gift ideas to put a twinkle in just about anyone’s eyes. From woven blankets, clothing, moccasins, beads from all over the world, Native arts and crafts, beautiful gift cards, books and so much more you are sure to find the right gift for those special persons on your list.
My brother gave me a pair of beautiful moccasins many, many years ago for Christmas. He bought them at a trading post in the Pacific Northwest. They are quite worn now, and some of the rabbit fur has worn off – but, they still are the most comfortable footwear I have ever worn. The beading on them is specatular and everytime I look at them I marvel at all the work that went into making them.
The history of the trading post began long before there was modern day currency to use for purchasing necessary items. In the old days a building was set up, usually a log cabin, as a place for people to come for the sole purpose of the trading of goods – hence the name of trading post. The preferred travel route to a trading post, or between trading posts, was known as a trade route. Not only goods were traded here, but, news from around the nation or even the world was exchanged. It became a gathering place for people to meet and share news, ideas and make their trades.
From the act of trading goods, the need eventually occurred to have a form of payment other than simple trade. Before long”trade tokens” and eventually coins were made from metals like gold, silver and copper, which were used as payment for merchandise. These trading posts opened up a whole new opportunity to the indigenous people of this nation. Women of the tribes could have their beautifully made moccasins, clothing and other items taken to a place where they could trade for beads, spices and other precious items from around the world.
An ancient Phoenician colony in Carthage was the original trading settlement that began a vast economic system throughout the Mediterranean and it’s influence spread to almost every major city of Europe and found it’s way to Canada and America. By the19th century, trading posts were used by Native Americans where the women could pour over all the beautiful selections of beads and trade cloth.
If you do not live close to an authentic Native American trading post, there are a wealth of them to order from online. Below I have listed a few of the ones I like to shop at. Do something different this year for your Christmas shopping and find that special someone something very special.
Trading posts have changed quite a bit since the early days of historic North American trade routes. Look up some of them to see how much they have progressed.
I have not received any compensation from mentioning the businesses I have listed here.
Cameron Trading Post
Prairie Edge Trading Company and Galleries
Sioux Trading Post
March Point Trading Post
Scottsdale Trading Post
Visiting Trading Posts is a wonderful and educational way to rediscover some of our past history.
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