Mall store sells authentic Native American items
Ron Colombe kneels behind a display case, meticulously arranging pieces of authentic, hand-made jewelry. Each piece of jewelry represents a Native American tribe; each piece original in its own timeless creation. Eagle Elk Originals, which opened Nov. 1 in Aiken Mall, offers something new to Aiken shoppers who otherwise don't have a place to find authentic Native American items."We've been told we're the only store like this in the area," said Colombe as he stands up, admiring his collection and happy to share his passion for Native American art and jewelry with anyone who will listen.Colombe points out the certificate on display, "which assures everything here is made by an American Indian," he said. Each piece of hand-made art has a certificate of authenticity attached to it, as well. Large hand-crafted Dream Catchers, made by Colombe himself, hang from the ceilings, and authentic bow and arrows and replicas of spears line the walls. There are also Cradle Boards hanging up among the art."These Cradle Boards were used to carry babies - a bit different than what we use today," Colombe laughed. "(Indians) used to put these in the tree branches. That's where the song 'Rock-a-bye Baby' came from. When the wind blew, the cradle would rock, and the baby would fall asleep."Colombe says business started out slow but has been picking up, and although he originally only planned to be open for the months of November and December, he and his wife may change their minds, he said."We're getting more and more people coming in. The way things are going, the way business is picking up, we're pretty sure we're going to stick around," he said."Aiken has been really amazingly receptive. We've had a real positive response."Eagle Elk Originals is located inside Aiken Mall next to Dillards. For more information, call 770-365-3077.Contact Ashleey Williamson at firstname.lastname@example.org.