LOS ANGELES — Historians and collectors have been pursuing artifacts created or left behind by Native Americans for generations, going back to early explorations of places such as Casa Grande in 1892 and the establishment of these historic sites as national landmarks. Native American history is an integral part of the American experience, recognized by sales such as BonhamsNative American Art auction in Los Angeles on Tuesday, December 12. The 340-lot catalog is now open for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

Though most of the pieces in the Bonhams sale were created as everyday items by men and women of various tribes in the United States and Canada, they have now transcended into art forms in the contemporary market — with estimated values to match. This second-phase Navajo chief’s blanket features tested red-dye rectangles, confirming its age to the 1850-1880 period known as ‘second phase’ production. Measuring 5ft 11in by 4ft 8in and from a private collection that purchased it as a first-to-market item in 2006 at Christie’s, the blanket carries an estimate of $300,000-$400,000.

Best known as the Kwakiutl of coastal British Columbia, revisionist historians refer to the tribal community as the Kwakwaka’wakw in deference to the name of their language, which is still spoken by 3,600 people today. This ceremonial sun or thunderbird mask was collected by the famed Norwegian explorer and ethnologist Adrian Jacobsen (1853-1947) on his 1881 expedition to the Pacific Northwest. The mask’s human face features a bird-like nose, is decorated in native pigments and has slight repairs. It has moved through various museums and collections as part of its long history since 1881, and it is estimated at $100,000-$150,000.

Lucy Telles (1885-1956) was a mixed Mono Lake Paiute and Yosemite Miwok basket weaver of great prominence. She routinely participated in Indian Field Days at Yosemite National Park, appearing in numerous period photographs with her fine polychrome baskets, for which she gained great fame. She brought this excellent example to the 1924 Indian Field Days, which earned her third prize. The basket descends from the Ella M. Cain collection, known in turn for having served as a schoolmarm at Bodie, California, the famous ghost town in the Sierra Nevada mountains. The basket is estimated at $100,000-$150,000.