Sunday, May 29, 2011

In Memoriam

As we approach Memorial Day in the United States, we at Aboriginals and its associated web sites at,, and, want to pause to recognize and thank those who sacrificed life, limb and family for our American freedoms. We encourage you to do the same.

Pause your holiday fun long enough to contemplate the loss of these heroes and the benefits we gained from their heroism.

Then celebrate the freedoms they protected and preserved for us. God bless freedom loving people everywhere.

Susanne & William Waites

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


As members of Southwestern Association for Indian Arts, Aboriginals: Art of the First Person and its associated websites offering authentic Native American jewelry, hand-made Native American Pueblo Pottery and Zuni fetish carvings, are happy to publish the following news concerning SWAIA's 2011 Santa Fe Indian Market

(SANTA FE, NM) The Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) will unveil the Official 2011 Santa Fe Indian Market poster on Friday, May 20 at the Hotel Santa Fe (1501 Paseo De Peralta Santa Fe, NM) 6:30 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.

Brother and sister Tulane John and Myleka John (Dine) have been selected as the 2011 Santa Fe Indian Market Poster artists. Tulane (13 years-old) and Myleka (12 years-old) live in Phoenix, AZ. Their father is renowned sculptor, Alvin John. Both of these young artists are painters and will create a collaborative work of art for the poster. The image will also be incorporated into 2011 Santa Fe Indian Market Merchandise.

The selection for the 2011 poster artists is relevant in several ways. This is the first collaborative work of art to be selected for the Indian Market poster and they are the youngest artists ever to be selected. As a tribute to the 90th Anniversary of the Santa Fe Indian Market, SWAIA decided to search for a youth artist (15 years-old or younger) to design an image for its poster to recognize the future of Indian Market.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Tribal Art Adventures in Elementary School

This week, Susanne and I gave a presentation to the third and fourth grade art classes at J. Colin English Elementary School in North Fort Myers.

We presented Australian Aboriginal art to the third graders and African Tribal art to the fourth graders.

What well-behaved, attentive and interested audiences they were!

Our Australian program covered dot paintings from the Central Desert, bark paintings from the top end, carved, poker-burned animals, pottery painted by Aboriginal women, didgeridoos and boomerangs. We even showed them a dot-painted emu egg.

For the fourth graders, we concentrated on masks from West and Central Africa. Among those presented were masks from Bule, Guru, Senoufo, Dogon, Marka and Tchokwe. We let the students touch the masks and inspect the insides as well as the outer surfaces.

The exhibits were well-received and treated respectfully.

An interesting aspect of the presentation was a discussion of "spirit". How do you explain the concept of "spirit" to a fourth-grader? Especially when references to God or religion seemed inappropriate in a classroom setting.

The instructor came up with what I thought was a brilliant explanation. So much so that I told her I shall use it myself in the future. She likened it to the feeling that happens when you think you are alone, but you realize you are not alone. You are surrounded by people who share your ideas and values. That is the manifestation of the spirit that resides in the mask when it is danced.

That explanation resonated with me. I think the kids "got it."

We enjoyed doing these presentations. Susanne has taken them to schools before and, when we had our physical gallery on Sanibel, we invited classes to come for private presentations.

Now, we must take our collection and interest to the students, reinforced by information we present on our websites; for African and Australian art, for jewelry art from native artisans, for pueblo pottery and for carvings from Zuni, Cochiti and other Native American carvers.