Trade Token - Navajo from Gallup NM area – Howard Wilson Trader 25 cents

  • Model: LRV-lxq-389952
  • Availability: In stock
$30.00  $22.80
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Howard Wilson was an Indian Trader around Gallup, NM for 54 years. He was born in Gallup and spent his life in the area. He had several trading posts including Wildcat Trading north of Gallup and Indian Village Store in Churchrock, eight miles east of Gallup. He also served as president of the United Indian Traders Association and served on the Intertribal Indian Ceremonial Association for nearly 30 years. Simultaneously with his trading, he worked for the Railroad Retirement Board and recruited Navajo workers for the Santa Fe Railroad and processed benefits for the workers. The office was in Gallup. For years, Howard was a key figure in recruiting Navajo actors and extras for the film industry. He was always a champion for the Navajos. He was also a two-term sheriff and then succeeded by his brother Bobcat. When I was in high school in the 50s, I delivered Coca-Cola to his store in Churchrock. He and my dad were good friends.

Navajo trade tokens evolved in the late 1890s. Throughout early Navajo trading there was little or no cash available. All business was done in trade (barter). In the early years of trading, my grandfather dealt only with merchandise and tokens. Traders kept customer record books for each family with transactions for livestock, rugs, lambs, wool, etc. The accounts would be settled periodically with each seasonal activity. Initially, the Navajo people did not comprehend credit transactions, so the traders issued trade tokens which could be redeemed at any time at the trading post. Sometimes the people wanted to keep their tokens so the traders would invalidate them by punching a hole through the token.

Also available in another listing is a rare 5¢ round token for Howard Wilson.

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