What is a Strike a Light bag?

Native American women would tie a bag like this under their apron and would carry in it items necessary for making a fire. This would usually consist of flint, a “Strike-a-Light” which is a special steel plate to use with the flint for creating sparks to start a fire, and tinder (such as dry moss or rabbit fur) to catch the sparks and start the fire.

Vintage Strike a Light Bag

Raven Crow Medicine

Lakota Kangi Pejuta Medicine Bag

Lakota Kangi Pejuta Medicine Bag. Kangi Pejuta means Medicine Crow.

RAVEN/CROW –  Raven and Crow are very similar in their strengths: both carry great responsibility to Spirit and are the messengers of magic and healing from the universe where all knowledge waits for us.

Raven Crow Feather Necklace by Apache artist Cynthia Whitehawk

NP574-feather-raven-whitehawk-2 Raven Crow Feather Necklace by Apache artist Cynthia Whitehawk

They also symbolize changes in consciousness, levels of awareness and perception.

Zuni Raven Fetishes

FF306-raven-pooacha-1 Zuni Raven Fetishes

Shamans, Spiritualists and Healers using Raven/Crow Medicine are able to use their gifts with deeper clarity, understanding and insight, developing greater power and skill in their abilities and their means to help one move forward in life.

Kangi Pejuta Smudge Kit

Kangi Pejuta Smudge Kit

Raven Crow Medicine Smudge Feather

Raven Crow Spirit Smudge fan by Apache artist Cynthia Whitehawk

Raven Crow Spirit Smudge fan by Apache artist Cynthia Whitehawk

Raven Crow Medicine Pouch

Raven Crow Medicine Pouch with hand carved and painted buffalo bone raven feather. Cynthia Whitehawk


Zuni Buffalo Fetish Carving
Raven – Crow – A symbol of Magic, Mystery, and a Shift in Consciousness
(from our conversations with Lakota and Apache healers)

International Shipping Stories – Happy, Sad and True

Every week we ship quite a few packages outside the US – mostly to Canada, Australia, Great Britain, New Zealand, Germany, France, Japan, Spain and also to Romania, Poland, Mexico, South American countries and other places where there is a love of Native American jewelry, Cherry Hill’s horse books and DVDs, and vintage Dooney & Bourke Handbags.

international map

In the over 10 years I have been working here we have had great success with international shipping using the United States Postal Service (USPS)  – which, by the way, delivers 40% of the world’s mail. Here are 3 international stories – even if you are a US customer, you might find these interesting.

The Man in the Maze

One customer purchased a Man in the Maze pendant from us in early summer last year and the pendant went to him in Great Britain. With most customers, there are the original set of order emails, an email to tell the customer of the tracking number and usually an email from them, saying they received the item and love it !! However with this customer, there were already 20 email exchanges before the pendant even hit the shores of the UK. Then the pendant sat in London for 30 days while there were 20 more emails and it was returned because the customer did not pick it up. When I wrote the customer that the pendant was on its way back to us, he begged me to reship it as soon as it got back here. He sent the money to do so. A month later the pendant arrived back here, we repacked it and shipped it back to him.


Deja vu all over again…………..it arrived in London fairly quickly, but then sat there for 30 days. During that time there were more than 20 email reminders and replies from the customer showing great frustration on his part trying to locate his package……….so I even googled the Parcelforce package number for him that is assigned once the package arrives in Great Britain and gave him the website there in UK and contact info. It was there waiting……….yet……….he did not pick it up.  So it came back here in January. 100+ emails, two shipping charges, 7 months and the customer had no pendant.

I don’t know what really happened but either London is just too big, he couldn’t figure out how to pick up a package or he just didn’t have the $$ to pay the duty to pick up his package.  Each country has its own way of handling international packages and each country has its own tariffs and duties for goods arriving from abroad. Some countries charge no duty if items are made in the USA while others charge high tariffs no matter where something is made.  I’ve heard from customers in Great Britain and France that their import taxes and duties are quite high.

The Christmas Spirit

During the Christmas rush this past year, a postal employee accidentally affixed the wrong customs forms on two boxes. This resulted in a man in Australia who was expecting a beautiful Dooney & Bourke bag for his wife receiving instead 3 medicine bags. And a man in Canada who was expecting 3 medicine bags for his kids for Christmas receiving a handbag.

687-P54-lg-red-frontPLEASE VISIT MY NEW BLOG DEVOTED ENTIRELY TO VINTAGE DOONEY & BOURKE HANDBAGS http://vintagedooneybourke.wordpress.com/

After heartfelt apologies on our part for the post office’s mistake, we found we were dealing with a couple of really nice customers. Luckily we had 3 more medicine bags we could send the man in Canada. So he was taken care of right away. But to have him ship the handbag back to us and us then ship it to Australia just wasn’t going to happen in time for Christmas so the man in Australia decided to cancel that order for a full refund plus extra to return the medicine bags. He carefully and promptly packaged up the 3 medicine bags and sent them back to us for which we were so grateful.


Interestingly, the man in Canada loved the handbag he received by mistake and asked if he could purchase it – perhaps a last minute gift for his wife or girlfriend !!  So the snafu had a relatively happy ending.  Mistakes happen!

Higher Rates – Higher Blood Pressure

Recently the US Post Office drastically increased the cost of Priority International shipping – by an average of 15% but some countries more and some less.  For example, a shipment today of a 3# handbag package to Australia that used to cost approximately $38 US now cost $48 US and that does not include insurance. When you add insurance and then consider that the seller pays extra fees to accept international payments and the buyer might have to pay duty, international shipping is costly on both sides of the transaction. But it is not something we have any control over; they are the charges we have to pay and our customers have to pay.

For years we’ve posted this on our website for our international customers. It, along with all of our other policies, are listed on our Shipping and Policy page.  

In order to place an order, a customer has to read and agree to the policies. Here’s what it says……….

Our shopping cart’s figure for international shipping is an estimate. Your actual charge will depend on your country, the weight of the parcel, the size of the box required, the value of your items, the cost of insurance and so on. That’s why the shopping cart might charge you too much, too little or the correct amount. We will promptly refund any excess shipping charged by the cart. If additional shipping costs are due, that amount will be automatically added to your credit card as a reference transaction. If you have paid by PayPal, we will send you a request for payment.

When placing an international order, if you select USA shipping in error, by placing the order you authorize us to charge the correct international shipping cost which will be added as an auxiliary transaction to your original form of payment.

So recently when a customer from Canada chose US shipping ($7) but requested we ship her 4# box to a Canadian shipping address (cost of $35), I did what I always do, and that is add the balance due, in this case $28 to her credit card transaction. In every case over the years except this one, that resulted in a happy customer receiving their package. It’s business as usual.

screaming woman

Well in this case, the customer blew a fuse. When I politely tried to explain what had happened her reply was that she was annoyed and I owed her an apology. Here in the Colorado Rockies, we don’t apologize when someone else makes a mistake and especially when they try to turn the tables, so I cancelled the transaction completely.

We have no control over international shipping rates, insurance rates, duties, taxes, tariffs.

We just sell good stuff, wrap it very well, and provide excellent customer service.

Read our Customer Feedback Page.

I’d love to hear your international shipping stories from both sides of the transaction. Please feel free to leave your story in the comment section.

A friend said I need a medicine bag

hi i was talking to a new friend on face book and said that i had a dreamcatcher over my bed to keep me safe an she said that i need a medicine bag to help keep me safe but not sure whether i need to buy one or make one so how do i go about either and what would i put in it please

Hi Angie,

Choosing a medicine bag and its contents is a very personal thing.

We’ve put together some information about medicine bags which you can read here

What is a Medicine Bag and what goes in it?

Medicine bags come in all sizes and types – you can browse them here on the Medicine Bag Page


Some medicine bags have animal spirits associated with them. You can read about Animal Spirits here.


Medicine Bag Questions and Answers


Can additional small items be added to the medicine bags, or are most of them sealed?

and secondly, these are 100% made in USA by Native Americans correct?

Thank you! Wolf Man

Apache Wolf Claw Medicine Bag

Hello Wolf Man,

Yes, medicine bags are designed so that you can add your personal items to them. So 99.9% of the bags we sell are for carrying items, the size of the items will depends on the size of the bag.
There are only a few “sage bags”, those that are filled with sage and closed that would be difficult to open, empty and add things. Read the “Paula Says” comment on
to see which bags on that page you can empty of the sage and refill with your personal items.
All other bags are ready to be filled with your sacred objects.

Lakota Sage Bag

All of the bags in the top section of our Main Medicine Bag page
are made in the USA by Native American artists registered with a recognized (by the US government) tribe – the individual pages for each bag will will tell which tribe the artist belongs to.

Native American Made Medicine Bag

The ones in the Reproduction section toward the bottom of the page are made in the USA but by people who are not registered with a recognized (by the US govt.) tribe. Some of the artists there are Native Americans but just don’t have a government number so legally we have to call them Reproductions.

Large Reproduction Medicine Bag – made by an unregistered artist of Cherokee descent

Native American Artifacts – Medicine Bag of Deceased

How is a medicine bag properly laid to rest after the owner has passed?


Apache Horse Spirit Medicine Bag by Cynthia Whitehawk

Apache Horse Spirit Medicine Bag by Cynthia Whitehawk



If the deceased was not Native American, it is a highly personal matter. The medicine bag and/or its contents could be buried with the deceased or passed along to a family member or friend if that is the owner’s intended desire or designation.

If the deceased was a Native American, it would be best to contact an elder, a medicine man, a shaman or healer from the tribe to learn the proper customs for the treatment of the medicine bag and its contents.


Although it is not customary for a Native American to be buried with his riches, it is customary to bury his medicine bag or totem with him unless he wills them away. A totem is an animal spirit that a person chooses (or the totem chooses the person) as an ally through life, so it is in death. A totem item, such as a carved stone fetish of the animal, might be included in the medicine bag.

Zuni Raven Carved Fetish Totem

Zuni Raven Carved Fetish Totem

In addition, some tribes bury food (a small sack of corn or beans), water, possibly tobacco and hunting tools, such as a bow, arrow and knife with the deceased for his journey.


Native American Artifact – What is a Medicine Bag?

Native American Artifact:

What is a Medicine Bag?

©  2010 Horsekeeping © Copyright Information

You might think that a medicine bag should only be carried by a Native American Shaman, Medicine Man or Healer. That is one type of medicine bag – quite large as it would contain many herbs and articles, sometimes as many as fifty items.

Native American Indian Buckskin Medicine Bag

Apache Wolf Spirit Medicine Bag

Cree Native American Medicine Bag

Cree Native American Beaded and Fringed Medicine Bag

Today, non Native Americans also use Medicine Bags. They are symbols connected to personal protection and power. Some wear a small medicine bag around the neck, under the clothing, or on a belt or saddle or carry it in a purse, pocket, knapsack or briefcase. Some people sleep with their medicine bags under their pillows.

What the bag contains is sacred and good medicine for that person. It can be traditional items or anything else – a locket, photo, key, bullet, or coin, for example.

Traditionally a medicine bag contains something from the plant, animal and mineral kingdoms and from the life of man. Here are some ideas:

Plant Kingdom

  • Sage
  • Sweetgrass
  • The Three Sisters: Corn,
    Bean, and Squash Seeds
  • Flowers

Animal Kingdom

  • Lock of hair, mane or tail
  • Bone
  • Feather
  • Claw
  • Tooth

Mineral Kingdom

  • Stone fetish
  • Piece of stone such as turquoise or lapis
  • Gem
  • Crystal

Man’s World

  • Key
  • Photo
  • Coin
  • Microchip
  • Bullet