||INDIAN ARTS & CRAFTS ACT|
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The Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-644) was enacted in 1990 to prohibit the sale or marketing of any art or craft in a way that falsely suggests it was produced by a Native American. The law covers all Indian and Indian-style traditional and contemporary arts and crafts produced in the US after 1935. Individuals who violate the Act can face civil or criminal penalties up to a $250,000 fine or a 5-year prison term, or both. Businesses who violate the Act can face civil penalties or fines up to $1,000,000.
The production and sale of counterfeit or imitation Native American craft items hurts Native people in two ways. Much more cheaply made imitation Native crafts on the market force Native artists to reduce their prices in order not to lose sales, even when their workmanship and materials are far superior. Cultural knowledge is also lost as traditional art forms, if not economically viable, are no longer taught or maintained in Native communties.