Saturday, June 27, 2009

Tribal art loses a great and talented Zuni artist

We were saddened, as were all of our friends and associates in Zuni and the field of Zuni art, to learn that Jeff Tsalabutie was killed in an truck accident early this week. All details are not available and, out of respect for Zuni traditions, we held back on this announcement for a period of grieving.

And grieve we do.

Jeff was more than a fine carver with a whimsical and creative style.

He was a friend.

Whenever we would see him in Zuni, Albuquerque or Santa Fe, we always were greeted with a huge smile and a hearty "Hello, how are you?"

We enjoyed being with him, even on those occasions when he had sold out his work by the time got to him. He was instrumental in our ability to meet other young, talented Zuni carvers, who we are sure will miss him as much or more than we will.

We send our condolences to Jeff's wife and son and other members of his extended family.

Rest well, Jeff. You have left behind an inspiration for all who create.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tribal Art - Final Days for 35% off Native American jewelry sale

This fabulous Charlene Reano, Santo Domingo necklace was purchased for 35% off during Native American jewelry sale.

The purchaser was almost breathless when she discovered the sale. That sentiment was apparent when she notified us that it arrived at her home.

There still are many similarly beautiful and bargain priced pieces available at 35% off the list price.

But only for six more days. We have extended the closing date for the sale through Saturday, June 27, 2009.

Our recommendation? Visit the website at by clicking on this link, surf through cases and find something you can't resist at 35% off.

Place your order by Saturday and we will automatically reduce the listed price by 35%.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Elizabeth Manygoats Medical Fund by Tribal Artery

Aboriginals: Art of the First Person has been notified that Elizabeth Manygoats, whose Navajo pottery has been at the forefront of an evolving pictorial technique, was in an automobile accident while returning home from the Native Treasures Show in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her brother was traveling with her and was killed.

Elizabeth remains in serious condition. Her medical and other care must be paid for from the modest income she has earned as a Navajo potter. She needs financial help. Donations may be made to Elizabeth Manygoats Medical Fund (#9015707327) at any Wells Fargo Bank office. Additional information is available from Ron Martinez, 928-380-3085.

Please be generous even as Elizabeth has been generous with donations of her work in support of the Native American artistic community.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Tribal Art - New Navajo Folk Art Arrives

At Aboriginals/TribalWorks, we have long admired Navajo artists' wonderful tradition of folk art.

Ranging from chickens to totemic figures to critters like owls and farm animals, there is a wonderful inventiveness and sense of humor to this work.

This blog features new pieces that have arrived in our collection, based on continuous demand for chickens and owls. Click on each image to go to pages with larger pictures and more details.

Green & White Chicken by Jim & Jessie John, 13" tall

Red & White Chicken by Guy and Edith John, 9" tall

Blue & black chicken by Guy & Edith John, 12" tall

Red owl by Guy and Edith John, 7 1/2" tall

Blue owl by Guy & Edith John, 7" tall

White and black chicken by Guy & Edith John, 15 1/2" tall

Blue and white chicken by Edith & Guy John, 18" tall

Of course, with July 4th right around the corner, we would be unpatriotic not to point out the red, white and blue pieces that come from Navajo folk artists.

Be sure to click on the images to go to pages with larger images and more information about each piece of Navajo folk art

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tribal Art - Feds indict thieves of Native American artifacts.

June 11, 2009 - Federal authorities indicted 24 people Wednesday on charges of selling, buying or exchanging archaeological artifacts stolen from Native American lands.

According to a news release from the Department of Justice, burial and ceremonial masks, decorated pottery and a buffalo-hide headdress are included.

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar is quoted as saying, "Let this case serve notice to anyone who is considering breaking these laws and trampling our nation's cultural heritage that the BLM [Bureau of Land Management], the Department of Justice and the federal government will track you down and bring you to justice,"

Salazar was in Salt Lake City, Utah, to announce the crackdown. Officials said the artifacts -- some stolen from grave sites -- were taken from the Four Corners area, where the state borders of Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico come together. The area has a rich history of Native American culture.

256 artifacts worth about $335,685 were recovered, in culmination of an investigation that lasted more than two years and included about 150 agents and an insider informer.

If convicted, those indicted face possible sentences of from one to 10 years in prison for violating the Archaeological Resources Protection Act and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation.

A tip of the tips hat to Khadijah Rentas, CNN

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Tribal Artery - Mashantucket Pequot Schemitzun cancelled

The Mashantucket Pequot tribe of Connecticut has announced that it's annual pow-wow event, Schemitzun, has canceled the event for 2009. According to Lori Potter, a spokesperson for the tribe made the announcement while indicating that it was part of the tribal governements plans to reduce expenses in this time of economic stress.

The Mashantucket Pequot also operate the Native America casino called Foxwoods Resort Casino. The event, also known as the Feast of Green Corn and Dance, was launched in 1992. It has been held at the Miner Farm on Winecthog Hill Road, North Stonington , CT. where hundrds of Native Americans competed in dances and rodeo acts, and native American booths sold art, clothing and jewelry. There also were demonstrations of various Native American crafts.

In canceling the event, the tribe graciously thanked all those who had participated in the event and supported it in the past.

It is unclear whether or not the event will be reinstated when economic conditions improve.

Aboriginals:Art of the First Person, owners of websites that feature Native American art, carvings, pottery and jewelry, regrets the loss of a major event such as this. We big fans of powwows and encourage all our readers to patronize any that are held where you live or visit.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Tribal Art - Stolen Objects Alert

As members of the Antique Tribal Art Dealers Association, we receive alerts whenever there is a report of stolen objects.

We have just learned of thefts from a shipment from New York to San Francisco. Photos of the missing objects have been posted to the ATADA website page designated for that purpose.

If you encounter any of these objects in your dealings with collectors, dealers or individuals wanting to sell them, please notify the San Francisco police department.

Do not be tempted to buy any of these items. They are stolen merchandise. Having stolen merchandise in your possession is a crime and the items may be confiscated by authorities. There is no statute of limitations concerning stolen goods in the USA according to the ATADA.

This alert is brought to you by Aboriginals: Art of the First Person with websites for African tribal art and Australian Aboriginal art at, for Native American jewelry at, for Native American Pueblo Pottery at and for Zuni and other American Indian fetish carvings at

Thank you.