Thursday, April 26, 2007

New Postal rates coming

Word reaches us about new postal rates that will affect shipping charges in May.

According to Auctiva, the primary impact will be on eBay purchases.

But it also will affect shipping charges for purchases from all online merchants.

If your merchant includes shipping in the base cost of the item, you won't notice any change. (Except maybe an increase in item prices. Someone has to pay the USPS.)

If shipping is a separate charge, you will see some increase in that cost.

Two things to do:

One, if you are planning a purchase in May, consider making it now so that you can take advantage of current postage rates. (You also could cash in on our 30% off April Foolishness sale)

Two, be sure to settle with your merchant beforehand exactly what the shipping charges will be, or work out an arrangement that doesn't surprise you if you wait to purchase later.

Incidentally, again according to Auctiva, new names will be given to international services. Global Express Mail will become Express Mail International. Airmail parcel Post, Economy Parcel Post, Global Priority Mail will all fall under Priority Mail International. Airmail Letter Post and Economy letter Post will be called First Class Mail International.

When ordering from any of our websites, Native-JewelryLink, Native-PotteryLink, ZuniLink or TribalWorks, please ask to be informed about the shipping cost for your item. Thank you.

Lena Boone Zuni Fetish Bowl to new home

This fabulous (not a word I often use) fetish bowl by Zuni artist lena Boone has been sold to an excited collector as part of our special April Foolishness sale.It is six inches high and includes fetish carvings on four sides, an eagle fetish carving suspended across the top opening and a mole fetish carving within the bowl. Ground corn meal from Zuni was included to nourish the positive spirits of the carvings. It is covered with ground turquoise and includes a hole near the base on one side for the fetish inside to be fed. The faithful believe that an owner who cares for his or her fetish carving will receive good care and protection from the fetish carving in return.
The creatures around, over and in the bowl represent the six protective directional animals of Zuni cosmology: bear, mountain lion, wolf, badger, eagle and mole.

Lena Boone is a very popular and prolific carver. ZuniLink carries a lot of her fetish carvings. We had seen fetish bowls created by her but never owned one until, after a few complimentary comments in conversations with her about the subject, she surprised us with this one.

We were honored to get this bowl. We hope she will have another one for us before too much time goes by.

If you would like to see some of her fetish carving work (without a bowl), just click on the link above, scroll down the left side of the page and click on the link to her page. There's also a picture of Lena there.

If you are interested in other Native American Indian pottery, including other, smaller fetish bowls, keep an eye on

Thank you.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

New, old Australian Aboriginal bark paintings

Susanne and William Waites have just posted eight authentic Aboriginal bark paintings from Australia that have been in our collection since 1990. These join a number of others that have been on our website for sometime.
The Lightning Spirit - Oenpelli - Neville Marrday

Australian Aboriginal barks are a unique art form. They start with a piece of bark that has been prised from the girth of a eucalyptus tree. It is placed on the ground over a smoldering bank of coals with the edges extended to a flattened configuration. Rocks are placed on the corners and the edges to hold the bark down and flat while it cures.
Mimihs & Hunters - Milimbimbi - Djawida

After it has dried and is mostly flat, the stringy side of the barks is scraped to make it smooth. When it is completely flat and smooth, the surface is painted. The media are ground-up ochre, kaolin and charcoal. These all-natural pigments are fined with sand and bound with honey or flower juice.
Bolyu (water spout) Dreaming - Yirrkala - Dhuwarrwarr Marika

The applied patterns involve various designs and icons depending on the area from which the painter comes and the tradition of that area. For example, Oenpelli tends toward an "x-ray" technique that replaces 3-dimensionalism while portraying the shape and skeletal essence of the creature represented. Other areas have other traditions. The Tiwi people of Melville and Bathurst Islands employ a cross-hatch (rarrk) that is said to the specific property of the painter's clan.
Long Neck Turtle totem - Tiwi people

It is said that the bark painting tradition had its genesis as a way of decorating the inner side of bark slabs cut and flattened to serve as lean-to shelters during the wet season of the tropical Northern Territory.

There is more to read and learn about bark painting at the TribalWorks website Australian Room, along with additional examples of this genre.

Incidentally, all these paintings were acquired when the Australian dollar was significantly less valuable vs. the US dollar. The prices were set on the basis of those 1990 exchange rates. That makes them very attractive values at regular price. With our current April Foolishness sale giving 30% off through the end of April, they are even greater bargains.

US and Canadian collectors can call us at 800-305-0185 for more information or order inquiries. Australian collectors tapping into this blog, are invited to inquire too, via the email address on our Web site. We can ship to Australia at very reasonable rates. We would love to see them repatriated to their homeland.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Who’s stealing me?

It is one of the creepiest realizations you can imagine.

You get a phone call one day from a credit card company that wants to confirm your application for a new account, except the address is not the one they have for you.

You answer, “No, not me.”

A day or two later, the phone rings again. Another credit card company wants to know if you have applied for a new account with them. “Nope.” “Not you”, you say.

Now, you think something is up. The same day, your bank statement displays a withdrawal you didn’t make or authorize. Then there is another one.

The bank officer suggests that your Social Security Number has been compromised and someone is using it to hack into your bank account and open new credit card accounts in your name.

You order a credit bureau report and find some strange things in it. Inquiries from a mortgage lender you didn’t ask to lend to you. Addresses for a place you never lived.

You call the sheriff to get an investigation going. The deputy says a detective will contact you.

In the meantime, another unauthorized debit appears on your bank account and you receive a letter from a bank saying they declined your application for a new account because they didn’t think it was really you.

They were right.

So you place a fraud alert on every account you have and all of your credit bureau records.

You pray that you have caught it in time.

We don’t know how my Social Security Number was compromised. We have suspicions. We think it might have been among the veterans' records that were stolen.

Fundamentally, we don’t think it had anything to do with any internet activity, since we never use our SSN on the internet.

Since we are wrestling with attempts to defend ourselves from identity theft personally, we worry even more for those who have not yet been stung.

We have added secure order forms to our Native-JewelryLink and ZuniLink sites. Your credit card info is encrypted, so it is not available to any third parties. (Incidentally, you also can use these secure order forms to order items from Native-PotteryLink and TribalWorks simply by entering the product and credit card information on those order forms - look for the padlock icon on the browser bar. Or you can call us 800-305-0185)

We are concerned about merchants that use shopping carts, however. No matter how secure the merchants are, the credit card information is held by a third party and is only as secure as that third party.

This is not to say that merchants with shopping carts are unethical or even risky. But their practices are less secure than we would generally accept for our customers. Moreover, If the merchant is in the art business, a shopping cart seems unnecessary. If you sell one-of-kind objects of art, how hard is it to keep track of the sale of them?

As a family, mom-and-pop operation that relies on our personal taste and is dedicated to serving each customer as someone we know, we are happy to operate as we do.

A few tips from us: Be sure to order a free credit bureau report. You are entitled to one per bureau each year. It will tell you what is going on with your financial arrangements. Also, read your credit card and bank statements promptly and thoroughly. You want to catch any threats early, as we hope we have.

We want you to be financially whole.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Iroquois Whimseys newly released

by William Waites
We have a number authentic Iroquois (Mohawk) beaded whimseys of museum quality that we are offering as a collection. These extraordinary works of beading and craftwork were created by Iroquois women, most usually Mohawk, for sale as souvenirs to visitors to the tribal areas. The finest of these were made sometime between 1880 and 1920 (estimated).

We have offered less excellent examples on our eBay store at Art of the First Person for lower prices. But this new collection is almost flawless and any beadwork collector should live to have it. We hate to let it go. But space is a cruel master.

If you enjoy beautiful beadwork enjoy these pictures.

Apologies about Triennial blog

If you check the archives of this blog, you will see that a few messages back I promised to blog from the Triennial on African Art in Gainesville, FL.

Personal and family problems interfered with my ability to attend. I had reserved both a hotel room and a registration for the sessions, which I had to cancel.

Sorry. But I am still planning to be at Santa Fe Indian Market and repeat the blog messaging as we did last year. We may also blog from the Gallup InterTribal shortly before the Indian Market.

Speaking of Indian Market, we already are hearing advance promotion about this consummate Indian art event. If you are in the Santa Fe area in August, you might consider volunteering to help out at the Indian Market. I can't think of a better way to immerse yourself in the art of our native American brothers and sisters.

Before you departfor Santa Fe, however, you might visit our web sites at,, and Check out our prices. Back when we had a physical gallery, we used to overhear shoppers comment that they were waiting to visit Santa Fe to buy at lower prices. We have been in Santa Fe, which we love by the way, often enough to know that our online prices - even without our sale discount - are more than competitive with Santa Fe's.

After all, we don't have to pay the rent that they do on the Plaza.

American Indian Art Magazine - Back copies

By William Waites
American Indian Art Magazine is one of the most respected, comprehensive and scholarly to cover the field of Native American Art. Back copies of this publication become collectors' items and treasured in public libraries.

We have a number of them available for purchase at our Tribalworks web site. We also have added two copies that were previously available from us. The summer 1996 issue, featuring Kiowa ledger drawings, and the Winter 1995 issue, celebrating 20 years, with a photo of Maria Martinez reading American Indian Art as a cover subject.We have plenty of others, including some duplicates, for as little as $6.50. That's just $1.50 over the cover the price at time of publication. For an out of print back copy.

Take a look. There may be an issue you missed and would like to have now.

By the way, we have a pair of framed rabbit skins that have been illustrated with ledger style art work. They are stunning, unique and 30% off through the end of April.

Just nine days left to save 30%

by William Waites

If you have been out of circulation, or otherwise not visiting our web sites, Native-JewelryLink, Native-PotteryLink, TribalWorks and ZuniLink, you may be unaware that we have been offering 30% off through out the month of April. (We call it April Foolishness.)

Well, it ends in just nine days.

If you have seen something on one of our web sites that you have always wanted, now is the time to visit again and take advantage of our 30% discount sale.

Incidentally, this is not a sale price on an inflated regular price. You have access to some of the lowest prices for quality items in our day-to-day prices. This is a legitimate 30% reduction for one month only – with only nine days left.

We’ll leave a computer on for you.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

30 years and 30% off

30 years ago this month, Susanne and William Ernest Waites gathered up their two sons and moved to Australia. It was the beginning of a love affair for the two of us, as we discovered the art and culture of the Australian Aborigines.

As ancient as it was, with 20,000 years of history dating back to first humans who painted on the cave walls and escarpments in Australia, it was new and fascinating to us.

We had never been exposed to anything like it. We had purchased a few antiques to furnish our home but had not been “collectors” of anything else of value.

That soon ended as we gathered up items of Aboriginal and Papuan material culture, and studied the ways and arts of the people who created them.

A few years later, while returning to the US, we traveled back through Africa and discovered African tribal art. Soon after settling back in the States, we made our first family trip to the American Southwest, where we discovered the magnificent work of North American Indians, followed by the art of the Arctic peoples.

At that point, realizing we had no more brain-space in which contain more knowledge of native cultures, we drew the curtain across further discoveries and concentrated on learning more and collecting more from Africa, Australia, North America and a smattering of Pacific Islander art.

Within a year of returning to the US, we also discovered that we could not just keep on collecting. We would run out of physical space in which to enjoy it. Buying art just to have and store it was not an attractive option for us. Far better to get the art out in the hands of others so the world could enjoy what we found so compelling.

To be candid, selling was also a way to finance a growing collection as we replaced pieces that we had grown tired of with newly acquired pieces that reflected our increased knowledge and experience.

So, 30 years on, we decided it was a good time for the Waites to have a big 30% off sale. Visit our websites at Native-JewelryLink, Native-PotteryLink, TribalWorks and ZuniLink to see what's available that you can't live without. There will never be a better time to acquire it.

Thank you for 30 years of support.