The Totem Post

The Totem Post
A unique jewelry and gift shop with gifts from around the world.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

60 Years at The Totem Post

The Totem Post opened in June of 1952. This is our 60th year and we wish to thank all of our customers who have loved our shop over the years. In the beginning, my parents, Bill and Marielle Jockey, carried Native American Indian jewelry because my Mom had grown up with an interest in it and she thought there was very little of it in the Midwest. They also added crafts that they brought back from South America while they were still a dance team on the SS Uruguay. (The first few years they would have the shop in the warm months and dance on the ship in the winter.) My parents bought the shop from Bud Austin, who was a leathersmith. He taught my Dad some of the patterns and showed him how to tool the leather. Also, Mom and Dad brought back some unique patterns for wallets, etc. from South America. So in the early days, we were a leather shop, too. Now we have grown and the shop had expanded in many ways. The building is larger, we carry crafts from around the world, as well as Native America crafts and items, spiritually oriented books, stones and gifts. We have expanded to have a website and ebay store and can reach people in every country. Not a day goes by without a customer saying that they love our shop. Well, we love being there and sharing our love of our items and Brown County with you. I always hope that a visit to The Totem Post brings joy and inspiration to all who walk through our door.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Monague Native Dreamcatchers

Several years ago we discovered a company from British Colombia, Canada called Monague Native Crafts. It is a wonderful company which began 25 years ago as a cottage based company and has grown and developed into a world recognized supplier of Canadian Native Handicrafts. They are 100% Native owned and give back much to their community. We carry many of their dreamcatchers which come with inspiring stories of friendship, guidance, safety and soul connections. Their dremacatcher legend goes like this. . .

"One of the most beautiful stories in Native Indian mythology is the dream catcher legend. It is said in the night air, there are good dreams and bad dreams. The good dreams go through the web into the feathers unto the one sleeping while the bad dreams become hopelessly tangled in the web, where they perish at the first light of Dawn."

Another type of dreamcatcher is called the Vision Seeker. It has a quartz crystal in the center of the web and other natural stones surrounding it. It's story is this. . .

"Vision Seekers are designed to capture bad dreams in the web and allow good dreams through. The quartz assists in removing the negative thoughts. The stones enhance spiritual communications and guidance. You will be guided to the Vision Seeker that draws you to your spiritual path."

These are beautiful creations and inspiring Native crafts. These hopeful and peaceful dreamcatchers enhance all our lives.

We are pleased to support such a company.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Ildanach Copper Jewelry

A few years ago we discovered a company from Colorado called Ildanach Studios. They create unique copper jewelry mainly from recycled metals. The result is a beautiful piece of artwork you can wear and that is actually good for you. Copper has been thought for centuries to bring beneficial healing elements to the body. It is especially good in bracelets. Read on and see what they say about themselves.


Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, the Artisans at the Studios led by husband and wife team, Curtis & Sheron, strive to create contemporary works which are mindful of the beauty in the world around them. Their creative philosophies combine a desire to express, rather than cover the human form - emphasizing natural beauty rather than over polished, sterile objects. The resulting artworks made with recycled and reclaimed metals take on an organic, earthy sophistication and give the materials a voice in the artwork they become and the wearer their own expression."

A piece of jewelry from Ildanach will become a favorite for many reasons and may just become a part of your daily persona.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Our Customers

One thing I have learned as I grew up in The Totem Post, was that the customers are the best part of having a shop. Since I was 8 years old I have noticed that many people return to our shop. These people often become friends. Others only come once or when they are in town visiting relatives, but they still can become friends. Some even have been coming so long they are now bringing their grandchildren to the shop! We love to connect with our customers, tell about our merchandise or help them find other locations in town. It is our job to help you enjoy your time in Nashville. But I have noticed that the customers often make my day wonderful, too. We have people from many states and countries visit and each person has their own story. Guess I just want to say thank you to all of you that enjoy our shop, because we enjoy being there for you.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Minnetonka Moccasins

One staple of our shop for decades has been Minnetonka Moccasins. We are proud to represent them, it is a wonderful company. Here is what they say about themselves. . .

"Native Americans wore moccasins long before Columbus discovered the land. It's fair to say that moccasins are truly America's first footwear. Completely casual, they define a relaxed and comfortable lifestyle.

"Since their inception in 1946, Minnetonka Moccasin has shaped the moccasin's place in history.

"Following World War II, Americans took to the highways to discover its natural beauty. Visiting resorts and souvenir shops, they brought Minnetonka moccasins home to the new American suburbs. They soon became casual classics.

"Today, Minnetonka is a mainstay of American style. Minnetonka moccasins, fringe, sandals, shearling, boots, slippers, hats and accessories can be seen everywhere. . .from the streets of New York to the Santa Monica pier and from London to Tokyo. No matter the footprint, all are made with genuine "moccasin soul."

"It's a simple idea. . .Classic design that never grows old combined with a natural, free-spirited heritage. Minnetonka Moccasin continues to define casual and comfortable American style."

. . .and this is why we love them and continue to sell them at The Totem Post (o:

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Santo Domingo Jewelry

The jewelry of the Santo Domingo tribe is, for the most part, a continuation of traditional and ancestral design and technique. Long ago metal was not easily obtained, so jewelry was made of the natural elements which were found nearby or could be traded for. The Santo Domingo today use primarily stone and shell with very little use of silver. Sometimes a backing is chosen - shell, or in the past records, combs or car battery pieces - and then a mosaic design is is inlaid on top. It is often very colorful and abstract.

This tribe also makes "heishi", which is a string of hand ground stone used for necklaces and earrings. The small stone pieces are drilled and strung and then rolled to grind them down smoothly. The result is a string of stone that feels smooth like a snake's belly. When heishi is made this way, each bead fits perfectly with the one next to it. If the string is broken, it may never have the smooth feel it did when it was made.

There is something almost magical and ancient about this type of jewelry. To know that people hundreds of years ago wore this same style of jewelry and that today it still is beautiful and desired is amazing. Wearing it makes you feel you are a part of days gone by.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Brown County Art Colony

For those of you who have never been to Brown County or do not know the history of the area, it is a fascinating place. Brown County is in the hills of southern Indiana. It is really the first place where the hills start forming as you go south in Indiana. There are mists on the hills and many trees which flower in the spring and turn glorious colors in the fall. Because of this, near the turn of the century, many painters came to this area to paint the wonderful scenery. It soon became a haven for artists and a wonderful, creative community. Famous artists who painted here and lived here were Marie Goth, V. J. Cariani, Adolph Schultz, T. C. Steele.

It has changed a great deal in the past 100 years, but still there are wonderfully creative people who live here. John and Beth Mills who make a unique style of stoneware pottery. Bruce Taggart who makes mandolins and other stringed instruments. Martha Sechler who has a colorful, approach to painting scenery and natural elements. Amanda Mathis who does primitive style paintings of the town and its people. Irene Olds who is an amazing portrait artist and the cartoonist for out local paper, the Brown County Democrat. Brad Cox who is an imaginative metal sculpture. Marty Gradolf, a thought provoking Native American weaver. There is simply so much creativity here, it is everywhere you look. It is in the thinking and atmosphere everywhere.

It is a wonderful place to visit, live and definitely to have a shop with things which have a creative nature. If you haven't been here, you must come visit. If you have, just come back to rejuvenate the artist in yourself. It is a magical place.