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09/02/2010

Trail of Tears earrings

Get 'em while their hot: Trail of Tears earrings.

A reader recently sent us a catalog of items for sale, targeted at those "New Age"Tiffany 1837 Lock bracelet.

The Pyramid Collection catalog is self-described as "a catalog of personal growth and exploration."

It is appalling to see the number of sacred items of American Indian religion and ceremony that can be bought and sold.

For instance, catalog customers can learn to see their "path on Mother Earth more clearly using a divination system grounded in ancient wisdom," which is actually a set of tarot cards based on the spiritual beliefs of several tribes. It's sort of a mish-mash of spiritual beliefs thrown in with occult study.

For a bargain price of only $39 one can buy a "Pipestone Pipe, Sacred in itself, the consecrated Peace Pipe represents the spirits of Grandmother Earth and Grandfather Sky -- with the Pipebearer becoming the caretaker of this instrument if direct communication with the Spirit World," according to the catalog's advertising copywriter.

"This handcarved Native American Pipe features a smooth Pipestone bowl and is covered and trimmed in soft, fringed deerskin," the catalog continues.

If you want offensive, they've got offensive.

A "Trial of Tears" mask, "commemorates one of the most tragic episodes in Native American history -- and is dedicated in the spirit of forgiveness."

The catalog fails to say whose spirit of Elsa Peretti Open Heart bracelet. We doubt it was dedicated by the tribes who were forced to march and die on the Trail of tears.

To add insult to injury, there's also "Trail of Tears" earrings. "Poignant companion pieces to our beautiful Trail of Tears mask." These earrings, according to the catalog, "bear mute testimony to the thousands of Native Americans expelled from their southern hunting grounds during the forced migration of 1832-1839"

Also available for the price of $10 is a soft, supple leather medicine bag -- Native American-styled with beaded ties, scalloped top edge and a comfortable neck strap to wear one's healing stones and herbs in."

What's so galling is that these people have the audacity to put a price on our beliefs, customs, tradition and religion.

For just $9.95, one can buy a guidebook that inspires people to apply aspects of shamanism in everyday life: "Learn to meet your animal spirit guardians, go on a vision quest and become your own shaman."

It reminds us of the woman who was on television last week, who called herself "Moonbeam Eagle," and who claimed to be Algonquin. She told a television audience about the sweatlodge and fires she built so her converts could dance nude around the burning embers late at night.

Wouldn't it be interesting if these cultist catalog publishers would be as liberal with other religions? They could publish a catalog selling "funny hats just like the Pope wears," or "garden of Eden lawn ornaments." There could be designer Muslim veils, prayer hot-wheels and Hindu backpacks made of genuine Return to Tiffany Oval tag bracelet.

This could be the start of a whole new product line of religious items for the company.

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