Sunday, October 09, 2005

Save 40% by Oct 17

We have just posted completely new pages to announcing a special sale of 40% off of every fetish carving on the Web site. In order to calculate your savings, deduct 40% from the price shown and place your order. The sale has been motivated by the closing of our physical gallery, which simultaneously gave us a number of fetish carvings that had never been available on the Web and lowered our cost of doing business. So we want to celebrate the news with a special sale for you. Please act quickly. The sale is scheduled to end on October 17, 2005

Thank you for reading this special edition of Tribal Artery, the blog enewsletter of Aboriginals: Art of the First Person and its Web sites at Native-JewelryLink , Native-PotteryLink and Tribal Works
We will try to put up some other news shortly. To subscribe to Tribal Artery, simply click on one of the feed icons on the right side of the page (We think the simplest is "Sign up") You will receive a notification every time Tribal Artery is updated.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Tammie Allen steps forward

We recently received an email from Tammie Allen, a Jicarilla Apache woman who is making pottery from micaceous clay. Tammie has a web site at that introduces her and her philosophy, and displays some of her work. We are thinking of adding some of Tammie’s work to our inventory. If you visit her site and like her work, please let us know.

People often ask why we would tell the world about other sources of Native American pottery beside our comprehensive site at The reason is both complex and simple. On the complex side, if an artist’s work becomes better known and more popular it is better for everyone in the art business. The more people see and understand, the more likely they are to want some art. If not one artist’s work, perhaps another. We consider ourselves evangelists for Native Art in all its forms. Directing people to one more place to see it is one way to fulfill our mission. On the simple front, if we like an artist’s work, we think others may also.

Meanwhile, we can’t pass up the opportunity to talk about two artists whose pottery we offer at Native Pottery Link. One is Santa Clara potter Wayne Snowbird. His figures are deeply moving representations of characters from the Indian nation. Our supply of his work is dwindling. But we hope to add more soon. The other artist is Andrew Rodriquez, Laguna. His figures are whimsical, charming and likely to make you smile. One set of three musicians is particularly fun. He also does ceramic plaques that add a point of fascinating focus to room. When you visit the site, look through pages of thumbnails and click through to enlargements of works that you like.

Thank you again for your readership. As always, we are publishing Tribal Artery from the inner sanctum of Aboriginals: Art of the First Person, whose e-bat-cave can be visited at Stop by and hang from the ceiling for a while.

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I love to write

I have been writing, one way or another, since early in high school when I was surprised to win a Scholastics Award for a bit of humor.

Still, writing is hard work, especially if you set a high standard for yourself. That is why this blog newsletter has not appeared more frequently. Between finding the time and having the material be current, I find the commitment hard to meet.

Anyway, let’s see what is relatively new. (I promise to bring you more and more current thoughts in the next issue of Tribal Artery.)

Back in July, Marc Simmons wrote in the New Mexican that Indian languages seem to be fading from use. He cited a study done in Oklahoma that found eight of the 25 tribes surveyed had no fluent speakers left. Ten appear to be just one generation from language extinction. Included were the Osage, Apache, Pawnee and Wyandotte.

Blame is placed on the number of off-reservation opportunities that do not require Native language skills and the education of youngsters in a more pop culture. I say "blame" because I think it is unfortunate and will be a great loss if we lose these languages. As a writer, I understand the importance that language has to perpetuation of a culture. It is the fiber that ties together so many aspects of a people, especially artistic expression.

I don’t know what we who don’t speak the language and stand on the fringes of the culture can do about it. But I do regret it. I hope it will not turn out the way it seems to be going.

Also in July, we were told about a recent exhibition at Santa Fe’s McLeod-Maslak Canadian Art Gallery of the work of Norval Morisseau. Moriseau was born on Sand Point Reserve, north of Thunder Bay, and raised on the shores of Lake Nipigon. He married a Cree woman and sired seven children with her. Many recognize him as the founder of the school of art known as Medicine or Legend Painting. While he has been well known and followed in Canada (and Europe), this is said to be his first major US show.

If you are in Santa Fe and the show is still open, why not drop by the gallery and let us know what you think?

Thank you for indulging us with your readership again. Tribal Artery is the blog newsletter of Aboriginals: Art of the First Person. It is published at least every blue moon. For more about tribal art, from Native American to Australian to African, visit our web site at . If Native American jewelry interests you, try A “gift registry” has been created on the site so that you can find something you would like to have given to you. If you register and tell the Web master who to contact with that information he will notify the target party. While this is helpful for holiday gifts, it is especially good for anniversaries and birthdays. Since otherwise thoughtful people in our lives sometimes forget such dates, a nudge from the Native Jewelry Link web master should be greatly appreciated, by both the giver and receiver. One man that was called was very grateful that he didn’t forget his wife’s birthday. We are here to serve.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Gallery closes. Life opens.

After 16 years on Sanibel Island on Florida's Gulf Coast, the physical home of Aboriginals: Art of the First Person closed its doors. It was a wonderful ride. For that decade and a half, we ran our business through both the bricks & mortar(actually it was stick-built) facility and through a burgeoning online operation.

We opened our first online gallery, in 1999, which makes us somewhat of an ecommerce pioneer. As time moved on, we determined that our interest in a broad spectrum of tribal art was not shared in its entirety by many people who are intrigued by some segment of it. So we began to split off segments of the field making it easier for you who are interested in fetish carvings to search for them at , without having to wade through Australian Aboriginal paintings and African masks. We added a third site, to feature Native American pottery and a fourth site, for you who are fascinated by the beauty of Native American Indian jewelry.

With the closing of the stick-built store, we have begun to shift loads of jewelry onto the Native-JewelryLink site. Even I am amazed by the quantity and quality of these pieces. I encourage you to visit the site and toggle through 12 pages of pins, pendants, necklaces and bracelets. Shortly, we also will add earrings, which up till now have not been on the site at all. By the way, we also are beginning to add enlargements of the new jewelry so that you can "supersize" the photos.

If you are a Native American Indian jewelry aficionado, you also can visit the jewelry pages at TribalWorks. There's a page devoted to Zuni jewelry and one devoted to Navajo jewelry.
Thank you for reading this issue of Tribal Artery, the blogletter of Aboriginals: Art of the First Person. We will try to post some more news shortly, so stay tuned. To do so, click on one of the icons to the right to set up your own feed and blog notifier.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

'AFRICAN CULTURES, AFRICAN COLOURS' visual arts exhibition

Date: Tue, 2 Aug 2005
AfricanColours [] an established web portal that
serves as a Contemporary African arts resource database and digital art archive
- presents the occasion of its first exhibition, at the new Fiesta Restaurant in
Nairobi from Wednesday August 3rd - 31st 2005.

The theme of this exhibition 'African Cultures, African Colours' - seeks to
redefine African Culture through the visual media and arts. The opening at 6pm
on Wednesday 3rd August, will be attended by Her Excellency Tanya van Gool, the
Dutch ambassador to Kenya; Mr. Tom Mshindi, Chief Executive, the Standard Group
and Dr. Patrick Lumumba, Secretary to the Constitution of Kenya Review
Commission (CKRC).

Other invited guests are Hon. Ochilo Ayako, Culture Minister; Hon. Raila Odinga,
Roads Minister; Hon. Najib Balala, National Heritage Minister, Hon. Prof.
Wangari Maathai, Asst. Minister Environment and H.E Hubert Fournier, French
ambassador to Kenya, among others. The exhibition will be open to the public
from 4th August to 31st August 2005. There is no admission charge.

Participating artists include Wanyu Brush, Annabelle Wanjiku Reeno, Kamal Shah,
Kahare Miano, Peter Elungat, Leon Kuhn from South Africa, Tabitha wa Mburu, Mary
Ogembo, Smooth Ugochukwu of Nigeria, Peterson Kamwathi, David Mwaniki, Thom
Ogonga, Simon Mureithi, Maggie Otieno, Sudanese artists Salah Ammar, Eltayeb
Dawelbeit, Halfawi Hussein, Yassir Ali; Sammy Lutaya, Patricia Njeri, Sam
Kimemia, Patrick Mukabi, Hina Haria, Beatrice Wanjiku, Veroniccah Muwonge of
Uganda, Evans Omondi, John Njathi, Wanjohi Nyamu, John Silver, Kanyiva Kahare,
Nelly Wanjiru, Kevin Kariuki, Alex Mbugua, Patrick Kirono, Irene Wanjiru, Halima
Shahib, Peter Salim Mburu, Anthony Okello, Samuel Githui, Wilson Mwangi and
Eritrean Fitsum Berhe Woldelibanos to mention a few.

As AfricanColours strives to transform the face of visual arts in Kenya and
Africa, we plan to regularly collaborate with the Media to nurture appreciation
and patronage of local art by providing exposure for contemporary African
artists and their works of art.
CONTACT: for further enquiries call Emmanuel, Tracy or Jackie on 020 250 373,
0724 231 071, 0722 506930 or
This article was received from H-AfrArts, H-Net Network for African Expressive Culture and is reprinted in Tribal Artery as a service to our readers. Tribal Artery is published by , a web site devoted African and other tribal arts.

Arctic Ocean teeming with life

By ASSOCIATED PRESS August 2, 2005
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) - Beneath its ice, the Arctic Ocean is teeming with life, says a team of international scientists that just completed a 30-day expedition to the northern ocean.In the months and years ahead, the 45 scientists from the U.S., Canada, China and Russia that took part in the Hidden Ocean expedition will pore over thousands of photographs, ice samples and ocean specimens collected in the Canada Basin.

"We were surprised. There was an awful lot more life up here than what people expected and believe there is," said Russ Hopcroft, a Canadian researcher and assistant professor at the Institute of Marine Science at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks.Hopcroft said most scientists found new species or, at least, species not previously believed to exist in the Arctic.Despite the region's inhospitable climate for humans, the northern ocean is home to many life forms, including viruses, bacteria, fungi, and unicellular and multicellular plants and animals.

From the shelter of the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Healy, teams of scientists explored the ice surface, beneath it and the ocean floor.They ventured as far as latitude 76 degrees north in the basin, the deepest part of the Arctic Ocean, located north of Alaska and the Yukon Territory.

The study is part of an international census on marine life, and funding for a similar study of Antarctica was announced last Friday.With the aid of a remote-operated underwater vehicle, a photo platform lowered from the vessel, diving suits and 24-hour sunlight, the team collected samples from places never before seen by the human eye.Fred Gorell, spokesman for the expedition funded by the U.S. government's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said the main goal is to raise awareness."The oceans are 95 percent unknown, unseen by human eyes, yet so important to us," he said.

The specter of global warming makes it urgent to document life in the far north and the Antarctic."There's already fairly good indications that we're undergoing some kind of global climate change and the areas that are warming up the fastest are the poles," Hopcroft said from the Healy as the scientists prepared last week to disembark.Arctic sea ice cover has decreased by about 3 percent per decade over the last 25 years, and there are indications ice thickness has decreased all over the Arctic.Yet scientists know relatively little about the regions, Hopcroft said.

As the changes continue, it will be important to have a benchmark to measure them against.The race is on to document the polar caps, said Ian MacDonald, a professor at Texas A&M University."The scientific consensus is that the end of continuous ice in the summer months is within the human horizon - 50 years, 70 years, 30 years," MacDonald said. "In recorded history, we've never had that, so this is a new era. It will have enormous consequences."

Among the rare finds for scientists were observations of comb jellies, or ctenophores, a jellyfish-like creature so fragile some pour like liquid out of collection jars.The expedition also had the first close look at mysterious pock marks that mar the ocean floor in the northern reaches of the basin.Approximately 2 1/2 miles below the ocean surface there are as many as two dozen depressions, some up to 130 feet deep and a half-mile across."That was very exciting," MacDonald said in an interview via satellite telephone from the ship.

Most surprising was the amount of sea life that call the depressions home. MacDonald counted 72 sea cucumbers in an area of 3 square meters."The abundance and diversity on the sea floor was the highest we've ever seen, anywhere," he said. "We're very excited about that but we don't, at this point, have any clue as to why."
This article is reprinted from an Associated Press dispatch in the interest of wide dissemenation of the information.

We thank you for reading Tribal Artery, the blog letter of Aboriginals: Art of the First Person. Additional information about the Arctic and Arctic people and their art may be found at
, the blog of a colleague with a gallery at . Examples of Arctic native art may also be found at (navigate to the Arctic Room.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Aboriginal art acquired by American and French collectors

Geoff Maslen reports in the July 27, 2005 edition of the Melbourne Age that two vintage works by Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, one of Australia's most renowned Aboriginal painters, were purchased at a Sotheby's auction on July 25 for A$411,750 each.

One was reported to be the first painting ever made by the artist, a small one entitled 'Emu Corrobee Man'. It was purchased for an American collector through Melbourne art dealer, Irene Sutton. The painting was said to have been purchased from the artist originally in 1972 for less than A$100.

The second work was a "wall-sized" canvas, 'Man's Love Story.' It also went for $411,750. The buyer was said to be a collector from France.

Although Australia has restrictions on the removal from Australia of early works by Aboriginal artists , both of these paintings were exempt as they had left the country prior to enactment of the restrictions and had been returned to Australia only for the Melbourne auction.

According to the Melbourne Age, 195 works were sold at Monday's auction for a total of A$2.04 million. Forty-eight of the works went to buyers outside of Australia.

Clifford Possum, now deceased, worked primarily in the genre known as "dot painting" or "desert painting", emulating on canvas the images that traditionally were created on desert surfaces as part of the Aboriginal process of transferring culture to younger generations.

In addition to his own work, Clifford's off-spring became painters of some accomplishment. Gabriella, for example has been quite prolific. Examples of her works are available on line at

Other Australian Aboriginal paintings also are on exhibit within the pages of this online gallery.

Thank you for reading this issue of Tribal Artery, the blogletter of Aboriginals: Art of the First Person and its sister galleries at , and
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Saturday, July 30, 2005

Janet's Web site

A blog or so back, we reprinted some comments from Janet Littlecrow concerning Seminole customs, dress and history. Janet was generous to give us permission to do so and we would like to honor her by posting her web address. She had added it as a comment. But, since some may never open the comments, here it is in the "wide open." . Janet features Indian ceremonial dress and regalia. Thanks again, Janet.
Tribal artery is blogged when we feel like it by Aboriginals: Art of the First Person, offering authentic Native American Indian jewelry at

Caution: Full Frontal Nudity

The Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper has become one our favorite sources for information about art, and tribal art in particular. This notice is not about tribal art, but it could be.

Seems the Leopold Museum in Vienna, Austria, has promoted its new show, "The Naked Truth," an exhibition of erotic art from the early 1900s, by offering free entry to anyone who showed up in a swim suit - or sans any clothes at all.

Part of the appeal (no pun intended, well, maybe a small one) is the sweltering heat wave that has baked much of Europe in the mid-90's Fahrenheit.

180 works are on display at the museum through August 22, including Klimt's "Nude Veritas" and Schiele's "Two Femaile Friends".

The New Mexican quoted Peter Weinhaeupl, the Leopold Museum's commercial director as saying, "We wanted to give people a chance to cool off, and bring nakedness into the open. It's a bit of an experiment. Egon Schiele was a young and wild person in his day. He'd want to be here."

Thanks for reading this issue of Tribal Artery, a blog newsletter published by Aborignals: Art of the First Person, on the Web at We welcome you r subscription. simply click on one of the feed icons on the right side of the age or go to

Thursday, July 28, 2005

More about Seminole material culture

Janet Littlecrow of Oklahoma, has responded to our article on Seminole costumes and crafts with additional information from her experience. While she claims to be "no expert," who of us is?

We reprint her comments here with her permission.

"Seminole and Miccosuki (sic?) fashions before the advent of foot-treddle powered sewing machines were much like Creek dress at the time, thin horizontal bands of fabric sewn together in colorful combinations.
For anyone who has ever done Seminole style patchwork, it's easy to understand why this began only after the coming of sewing machines. Some of the designs were orginally based on colorful featherwork designs that were popular among southeastern Indians in earlier (better) times. The earliest designs were very simple, but have progressed to unbelieveablely complicated designs today. The best work is normally only made for family members to wear during annual Green Corn ceremonies, not for the tourist market. Many of the designs have names, and some represent clans within the tribe. Today, the bottom band on the skirts is often a clan design to identify the clan relationship of the wearer, but this was not always true.

To continue this article, please go to

PS: Janet also has a Web trading post, the name of which escapes me as I prepare this blogletter. Perhaps she will add it as a comment when she reads this. Janet?
Thank you for reading this issue of Tribal Artery, the periodic blogletter of Aboriginals: Art of the First Person. Subscription may be arranged through or or any other RSS/Atom news reader.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Seminole Patchwork Dolls

A friendly Yahoo group to which we belong recently posted a link to a page with a photo essay about the making of Seminole dolls.

It is a fascinating subject and a fascinating presentation.

There was one aspect missing, however.

I write about that below.

"It is fascinating to watch Seminole doll makers build the palmetto torsos that underly the dolls exterior. Especially because, other than the base, the palmetto body is almost never seen.

It is the Seminole costume that is the most visible part of the doll and, in many ways, the most significant part.

So I was surprised that the Florida Memory project, with its splendid photo essay, totally ignores one of the most significant parts of Seminole material culture and the costumes prepared for the dolls...."

To read the rest of this story, go to

Thanks for reading this issue of Tribal Artery, the blog letter of Aboriginals: Art of the First Person.
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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Artists and Patrons in Traditional African Cultures: African Sculptures from the Gary Schulze Collection

BAYSIDE, NEW YORK - Artists and Patrons in Traditional African Cultures: African Sculptures from the Gary Schulze Collection , a collection representing over 30 different cultures, spanning 15 countries, and some 2000 years of history will be exhibited at the Queensborough Community College Art Gallery from through September 30, 2005.

The oldest artifacts, terracottas from the Nok area of Nigeria, date from 500 B.C. to c. 200 A.D., followed by Sape Confederation stone carvings dating from the 15th to the 17th century. Benin ivory and cast bronze objects were created during the 18th century, while the wood sculpture dates primarily from the 20th century, the miniature Benin ivory leopard is one of only two in existence.In Artists and Patrons, objects from West Africa predominate. Many originate among the Mende, Sherbro and Temne of Sierra Leone. Other areas of Africa are well represented, by masks and figures from the Dan, Grebo and We in Liberia and Ivory Coast, for instance, and by sculpture from Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon and the Congo.

This impressive exhibit has been curated by Donna Page, a noted authority on the art of Africa. The wide variety of important and historic sculpture in this exhibition comes to Queensborough via the collection of Gary Schulze, who began studying African objects during his time as a Peace Corps volunteer in Sierra Leone during the early 1960s.

To read the full article, go to
Thank you for reading Tribal artery, the blogletter of Aboriginals:Art of the First Person. You may subscribe using, or by clicking on one of the sign up icons on the lowere right hand page.

Monday, July 25, 2005

News Bites

According to an article in the Santa Fe New Mexican ( ), U. S. Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, who represented Colorado from 1993 to 2005, advised that cultural tourism – not casinos – is the best path for economic development for Native American Indian tribes. His comments were made to the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe last week. He is a member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe.

Campbell pointed out that six tribes have built RV parks to cater to that segment of the American traveling public. He went on to add that he knows of eight more RV parks in the planning stages.

The Seminole Tribe of Florida is one of the nationÂ’s most successful tribes in tourism development, although they have done so on the back of six casinos on reservation land. The Seminoles have used the increased visitor traffic to explain their culture to non-Seminoles. They have offered swamp tours and hunting expeditions at their Big Cypress Reservation and have a very informative museum of Seminole history and culture, Ah-Tha-Tiki, also at Big Cypress.

The more familiar non-Indians become with Native culture, the more they come to appreciate the work of Native American artists.

Aboriginals: Art of the First Person offers a collection of web sites that not only present items of tribal origin for sale but also attempt to explain the culture and traditions that foster their creation. For more information, visit (fetish carvings), (Navajo, Hopi, Isleta, Santa Domingo and Zuni jewelry) (Hopi, Navajo, Zuni, SIldefonsonso, Santa Clara, and other pueblo pottery) or (miscellaneous tribal art and artifacts from Africa, Australia and the Arctic.)

Thank you for reading Tribal Artery, the blogletter of Aboriginals: Art of the First Person. To subscribe, use, or click on one of the “sign up” icons to the lower right.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

A Nifty Gifty

In one of my other activities, I was the president of a group where there was a tradition to give a gift to the Board of Directors members when you left office.

These gifts, which often run as high fifty bucks apiece, usually are plaques or certificates mounted on plaques, or lucite statuettes. As an incorrigible volunteer, I had received more of these certificates than I had room for on my wall(s). Moreover, since the work I did as volunteer board member was the motivation for the volunteering, I didn't really feel comfortable posting a certificate or plaque saluting myself or my contribution.

So I thought others might also have enough of these things tucked away in file drawers and storage boxes that they didn't need another one.

What I did instead was to give each member of the Board a Zuni bear fetish carving with a little card explaining Zuni fetish carvings and how they - especially bears - are believed to add strength, wisdom and healing power to the person who owns and "cares" for them. (Yeah, I also ran off a few a thank you certificates at Kinko's. )

When I handed these carvings out at the last meeting on my presidency, the response was very appreciative. Recipients also applauded my creativity in thinking outside the plaque.

Just the other day, I ran into one of these former Directors in another place. Within a few minutes, he reached into his pocket and pulled out the fetish carving he has been carrying ever since. He thanked me profusely and mentioned that he thought this was one of the most memorable tributes he had ever received.

At the risk of appearing self-serving in this observation and suggestion, I will mention that any purveyor of Zuni fetish carvings - and there are many, as Googling "zuni fetish carvings" will demonstrate - can fulfill an order for multiple fetish carvings. By the way, one of the nice things about them is that they are all different. Similar, but unique, so everyone is not receiving "the same thing."

To make it easy for anyone reading this blogletter who thinks this would be good idea for the next round of gifts, Zuni Link (our Web site - ) will provide some special services. Any order of two or more carvings will be shipped at our expense. Any order of five or more also will receive a 15% discount off the regular price. If you request it, we will ship them in gift boxes for presentation. Simply include in your order that these will be gifts.
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By the way, also, we appreciate feedback so feel free to comment.

Friday, July 22, 2005

No More Talking in Code

Charles Chibitty, the last surviving member of the Comanche code talkers from WWII, passed away on Wednesday, July 20, in Tulsa. He was 83 years old.

Unlike the more famous Navajo code talkers who worked in the Pacific theater, and about whom a motion picture was made, the Comanche code talkers served in the European Theater.

The results were similar. With the Japanese and the Germans unfamiliar with the native tongues of these two tribes, messages encrypted from the language of the Comanche and Navajo communicators confronted the enemy with undecipherable messages. Their contribution to the success of the allied war effort in both theatres has been recognized and honored.

According to the Associated Press, which reported Chibitty's obituary, he described his most frightening experience as the landing on Normandy Beach. The troops were deposited in deeper water than was anticipated. Many of them drowned before reaching shore. Chibitty also commented on the irony that he had been forbidden to speak Comanche as a child in school and yet was asked to as ana adult and was able to use his language to promote victory for the United States in Europe.

All Americans should salute the noble code talkers of Navajo and Comanche. They served with distinction, despite the many prior indignities that they had been subjected to as Europeans moved West across North America.

Thank you for reading Tribal Artery, the blogletter from Aboriginals: Art of the First Person. As collectors and sellers of art work from the Native American cultures, we have a special respect for them and believe it is important to share their stories with you.

By the way, you are invited and we welcome your comments on this or any other blogletters from us.

Tiwi, or not Tiwi

The Tiwi people live on Bathurst Island and Melville Island about 60 miles north of Darwin. The islands are Australian territory, separated from the mainland by the Dundas Strait. The Tiwi are considered Australian Aborigines.

The Tiwi have both a long tradition of art and one of the most contemporary art communities - making prints and screenprinting fabric, in addition to carving, primarily ironwood, and painting.

A major ceremony for the Tiwi is the funerary rite called "Pukumani". Poles are carved and painted. They are placed around the ceremonial grave site. Baskets called, "tungas", made from bark, folded and tied on the sides and painted with ceremonial designs, are filled with tributes. When the ceremony is completed, these baskets, are turned upside down on the poles and left for a period of time.

Tiwi carvers carve birds ("tokwampini") and heads ("parukuparli") from ironwood. They are painted with charcoal, white clay and ochres, fixed with flower juices or glue. Some examples of these carvings are presented on the Aboriginals:Art of the First Person Website,

The Tiwi also are prodigious painters and print makers. Doris Gingingara, Reppie Orsto and Susan Wanji Wanji are three artists of note in these media. Susan is actually from Maningrida but is with a Tiwi man and lives and works on the islands. Her work reflects the blending of Maningrida and Tiwi artistic traditions. You will find examples of their work at

As one of the very few sources of authentic Australian Aboriginal art in the US, we are proud and privileged to offer the material culture and art of these ingenious and creative Tiwi people from Bathurst Island and Melville Island.

Thank you for reading this blogletter from Aboriginals: Art of the First Person on Florida's Sanibel Island. If you would like to subscribe, you may do so through any RSS feed provider, including, or by clicking on the "sign up" icon, when it appears near the bottom right hand of your page.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Whimsy: Not the Dr. and not the State of Mind

In the late 1800s and the early 20th Century, members of the Iroquois Indian tribe produce exceptional bead work as a way to generate income. These objects, in the form of pillows, pin cushions, purses, frames and knick-knacks, were sold as souvenirs to visitors to Niagara Falls and other areas near Iroquois settlements. Some of them carry actual dates, like samplers, when they were created.

These beadwork pieces have become important collectables with groups of people who buy and sell them around the world. They are referred to as “whimsies”, a term we believe was used to reflect that they had no real function beyond displaying some excellent bead work and carrying memories of a trip to a famous place.

At one point, we got caught up in the movement and began to collect examples

Well, there is a time for everything. We’ve decided it is a time for us to de-acquire (a great museum term meaning, “selling”) some of our Iroquois beaded whimsies.

We have not posted any to our Web sites – yet. But we are offering them on eBay, through both the auctions (seller = taosski) and in our store at .

We may also post some of them to , where we also have some arctic carvings and other artwork posted for sale.

Thank you again for reading this blogletter published by Aboriginals: Art of the First Person. You may subscribe at, or by clicking on the “sign up” icon if one appears on your page.

On Provenance and Property

Recent discussions on some tribal art chat groups have centered on something called, “provenance.”

It refers to the pedigree of an object of tribal art that may be offered for sale. In African tribal art in particular, where antiquity gives an object extra value in the mind of potential buyers, provenance is an important way to determine if the object is a real antique and/or authentic in terms of tribal use.

Seemingly, if the object was purchased many years ago and held in important collections, it is perceived to be old and authentic. Still, who is to say it wasn’t a reproduction when it was first acquired? Or that the attribution to previous owners and collections isn’t phony?

Bottom line from our perspective is that you only purchase objects that you personally love, regardless of their history.

If they are priced extraordinarily high because they are claimed to be authentic antiques, due diligence is in order. Take every promise with a grain of salt. Ask for proof of the claims that are made, even if made in the most reputable of galleries. Ask for a Certificate of Authenticity and a written promise that an object can be returned and your purchase price refunded if it is found to be something different than you are told it is. Any reputable dealer will give you these assurances. If they won’t give them, run, don’t walk, to the nearest exit.

Of course, if you are buying for décor purposes or to grow a more modest collection, buying what you like is a pretty good guide. But why not have objects that are stylistically correct for the cultures they purport to represent. There are some fine books on African art that can show you what to look for. A little research is a good investment.

On our Web site at we offer some excellent objects of African tribal art. We don’t claim that they are equal to what is in the museums of Europe but many of them have museum backgrounds. And they are priced commensurate with their quality, authenticity and age. If you see something you like, make us an offer. Maybe we can make a deal.

Thanks for reading this blogletter from Aboriginals: Art of the First Person. If you would like to subscribe, you can use, or by clicking on the “sign up” icon, if it appears on your page.

What is the Turquoise Fortune Cookie?

Visitors to our Web site at have encountered a turquoise fortune cookie on the home page. If a visitor clicks on it, a link takes them to a special page where a special 40% discount is offered on one of our fetish carvings. (Here’s a clue: this week’s special is on a Jeff Tsalabutie carving.)

Why do we have a turquoise fortune cookie? Why not? We think Web sites should be fun. The turquoise fortune cookie is one way of delivering some fun to our visitors and customers.

We do similar things on our other Web sites, where we present individual pieces at deep discounts. Everyone loves a bargain and having these surprise specials makes visiting our Web sites just a little bit more interesting.

Check in for yourself. We change them whenever the spirit moves us.

Feel free to give us some feedback. Do you think this is a good idea? What would you do differently.

Thanks for reading this blogletter from Aboriginals: Art of the First Person. If you would like to subcribe to it, go to, or click on the "sign up' logo if it appears on your page.

By the way, we have just posted some new fish and sealife carvings to our ZuniLink site. This could be your chance to catch the one that got away.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Where do the fetish carvings go?

(This newsblog is offered as an alternative to a lengthy email newsletter, on the premise that it is better for readers to choose it when they want rather than have to deal with it in their email boxes. It also reflects the increasing difficulty in dispatching email newsletters and hoping that they survive spam filters. You may subscribe to the Tribal Artery newsblog through, or any RSS reader.)

Lately, we have had a few people order items off the Web that we have had to notify the items have been previously sold. This is one of the more disappointing aspects of our business. We hate to "lose" sales or disappoint customers.

Here's how it happens:

We have both a physical gallery and Web sites. We serve the Web from our home office. When something is sold in the physical gallery, it can take up to five days before the Web sites are updated and items removed if they have been sold. Therefore, when an order comes in from the Web, our first task is to check the physical inventory to be sure we still have the item. We then notify the potential buyer one way or the other.

We are constantly refreshing the inventory with orders from artists, carvers, estates and other sources. These come in when they come in. Time is not of the essence in most native cultures. We encourage you to visit the Web site regularly to see what is new. (You could bookmark it B>) In the last wo weeks, we have added wolves, mountain lions and corn maidens, the latter just this weekend.

We do the same thing with our other Web sites, which we established because not everyone is interested in everything tribal. We determined that fetish carving buyers may not want to wade through African or Australian tribal art to find the Zuni or Navajo carvings they seek. So we launched ZuniLink.

We figured that would be a good idea for jewelry and pottery too, so we set up new sites for each of those genres. If you are looking for absolutely smashing, authentic, guaranteed Native American jewelry, we encourage you to visit Some of these pieces are just plain gorgeous. All of them we would be perfectly happy to keep. In fact, that is one our major criteria when buying. If we wouldn't be happy living with it ourselves, we simply do not buy it, even though we think someone else might like it.

If you are a fan of pueblo pottery and pottery from other Native American peoples, check out There are splendid pieces ranging from small Acoma seed pots to major masterpieces by Preston Duywenie, Wayne Snowbird, Russell Sanchez and Rachel Nampeyo, to name a few. Also some excellent work by Navajo potters, Samuel Manymules, Alice Cling, Suzie Crank and Michelle Williams.

And we shouldn't ignore our "Mother Ship", . This site continues to offer African and Australian tribal art along with Arctic art.

Other news in the art world was provided through the pages of the New Mexican newspaper. The other day they featured the work of Richard Guzman of Truchas, NM. He has painted a mural called, "Los Pereginos" (the hawks) on the wall of a building next to the famous Sanctuario de Chimayo. You can read more about him and his work, along with other news from Santa Fe at

Until manana, may your days be sunny, your jokes funny and your life about more than money.
William and Susanne.

Incidentally, we welcome subscriptions to Tribal Artery, the newsblog of Aboriginals: Art of the First Person. We try to offer items of news interest while offering bits about all the cultures we deal in. If we have not covered a subject of interest to you in this issue, check us out next time.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

New Mountain Lion Carvings at ZuniLink

We have just posted a batch of new mountain lion carvings at When you visit, click on the mountain lions and more mountain lions links. And don't forget to visit Lena Boone's page and Jeff Tsalabutie's page to see new mountain lions from them.
Aboriginals: Art of the First Person

Sunshine Studio reorganizes web site

Our friend and colleague in the tribal art trade, Arch Theissen, sends this notice about his gallery at Sunshine Studio:

On July 9, 2005 we began the process of updating our site to make it load faster and to make navigation and browsing easier. We started with the fetish pages, and will soon continue this process into the remainder of the site. We apologize in advance for any errors, any down time, or any other annoyances caused during our site reorganization.We welcome comment and criticism during our update.
Welcome back, Arch! We wish you all the success possible. (We receive no compensation from Arch or any affiate fees. He is just a nice guy with a nice site and we like to help out. Besides, news is news.)

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ReOpening of IAIA Museum Store - July 15, 4 to 7 pm

More news from the New Mexico Culture Network.
Following nearly one year of modernizations and upgrades, the IAIA Museum Store is ready to join downtown Santa Fe’s vibrant art scene in its new, expanded role as both a Museum Store and art gallery.

Located at 118 Cathedral Place, just a block removed from the historic Plaza that serves as Santa Fe’s favored destination for tourists and major art events such as the Santa Fe Indian Market, the IAIA Museum Store is downtown Santa Fe’s premier showcase for contemporary American Indian art.

To commemorate its reopening, the IAIA Museum Store is featuring work by two well-known artists: Peterson Yazzie (paintings) and Amelia Joe-Chandler (jewelry). There will also be a selection of recent Navajo Weavings.

For more details, contact the IAIA Museum Store at 505-983-8900.

Aboriginals: Art of the First Person is pleased to bring you news about goings-on in the world of tribal art. To subscribe to this blogletter, simply use bloglines, feedburner or click on the "sign up" icon to the right.

To visit Aboriginals' online galleries go to

Millicent Rogers Museum Hosts Annual Benefit Auction & Dinner

The following announcement was received from the New Mexico Cultural Network. We thought you might be interested, even if you are not within traveling distance to Taos. Taos has a special place in our heart as we once owned a ski lodge there. We try to get there at least once a year to visit the Taos Pueblo, which is an enduring attraction in its own right. And, of course, the Millicent Rogers Museum is a special place for lovers of pueblo art.
An Extraordinary Summer Evening

Taos, NM – Highlights of the over 100 items featured at the annual Millicent Rogers Museum Benefit Auction and Dinner include art by Bill Acheff, RC Gorman, Pat Pollard, Ron Barsano, Lydia Garcia, and Laura Robb among other local artists. Billed as an Extraordinary Summer Evening, the auction and dinner will be held at the Museum on Saturday, July 30, 2005. Richard Lampert, owner of Lampert Gallery in Santa Fe, will serve as the guest auctioneer. The Auction celebrates local art as the Museum’s primary fundraiser of the year where all proceeds and donations go directly to improving and maintaining education, programming and exhibitions.

“Attending the auction or making a donation is a wonderful way to a make a difference to the future of the Museum,” says Steve Pettit, the Curator of Collections at Millicent Rogers Museum. Pettit notes that, through the auction, the Millicent Rogers Museum remains committed to its mission to display the arts and cultures of Native American, Hispanic and Euro-American peoples of the Southwest and to educate the public about them.

The Auction will display artwork, jewelry, clothing and furnishings from renowned contemporary artists. Other artwork up for auction include a piece by Taos founding artist O.E. Berninghaus, donated by the Brenner Family, and a piece by historically significant Taos artist Frank B. Hoffman, donated by Robert L. Parsons Fine Art.

The event kicks off with the silent auction at 5:30 pm. Followed by the live auction and dinner, catered by Brett House Catering, beginning at 7:00 pm. The 2005 Benefit Auction sponsors are First State Bank of Taos, Vivác Winery, Santa Fe Vineyards, The Taos News, and Coca-Cola.

Tickets for dinner and auction cost $50.00 per person. To purchase tickets, or for more information, call (505) 758-2462, stop by the Museum (1504 Millicent Rogers Road) or purchase online at, where you can also make donations to the Museum.

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Sunday, July 10, 2005

Five employees of the National Museum of African Art are terminated.

The National Museum of African Art, a branch of the Smithsonian in Washington DC, has terminated five staff members for budget reasons. According to the Washington Post, the Museum Director, Sharon Patton, notified those affected by the action on June 23. There will be 32 full time employees remaining at the museum, which had 165,000 visitors in 2004.

Director Patton explained her actions as being motivated by the desire to reorganize the Museum with programs for education, innovative exhibitions, increased visitation and outreach to the community at the same time that budget constraints have limited the Museum operations.

Patton further explained that the funds resulting from the terminated salaries might be used to add an associate director, with more emphasis on contemporary African art, and a development director to generate more financial backing.

This story was sourced from material in the Washington Post on Saturday, July 9, 2005.

African art represents a substantial part of the offerings by Aboriginals: Art of the First Person at

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14,000 visit Santa Fe Folk Art Market

This weekend saw the second annual Santa Fe New Mexico Folk Art Fair, featuring artists and artwork from South Africa, Brazil and Bhutan, among other distant points . According to the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper, an example of the artisans marketing at the market was Elinah Nxumalo from Swaziland in Africa. Tables offering her works, primarily mohair-and-fiber bags, were nearly empty by late afternoon on Saturday. Nxumalo also supports a large segment of her home community as weavers and helpers who gather raw materials for her. Folk artists in many parts of the world consider the Folk Art Market as an outlet for their creations. Santa Fe, of course, is home to the International Folk Art Museum.

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Saturday, July 09, 2005

A sad wolf story with a moral

The following story came from the operator of Shy Wolf Sanctuary Education and Experience Center, a private non-profit shelter for wolves and other abandoned wild pets in Naples, Florida.
"It is a sad, sad day as I write this. For those of you who do not know her story, I will start with the beginning.

MJ was formerly named "Scout". She was one of 3 wolf pups bred by an "animal trainer" here in FL and sold to another "animal trainer" for use in a 5 minute segment on Animal Planet's "King of the Jungle". The man who bought them for that show had no intention of keeping them and tried to sell them.

When he found no buyers, he called us at Shy Wolf and wanted to put two of the three females into rescue (his wife had "fallen in love with"the third). He would not contribute towards fencing and / or spaying. He could not believe we would want to spay a pure wolf, stating she "ought to be bred, she's a wolf".

There is a lot more to this story, but it is not relevant to the current situation and I will not bore you now.

Because we had no room at Shy Wolf, another rescuer (private individual) went to get the two females. She had two neutered rescued male brothers that she thought she could put the sisters in with as companions. That is what happened. They were vetted and found to be 20lbs underweight and full of hookworms.

Soon, though they became very healthy and were spayed. MJ and Julie were healthy, but Julie was not coming up to the rescuer as MJ was for attention. So, when we lost Wokini at SWS, the decision was made to bring Julie down here as a companion for our Wenatchee. We have a lot of volunteers to work with getting "hands on" her...and she is doing great!

MJ was also doing great with her companion and was happily digging her den. While the rescuer knew the den was large, she did not realize HOW LARGE it had become...because our soil is sandy with no clay and there were no tree roots to support the structure, the den caved in on MJ.

She wasundoubtedly happily resting in her favorite "cool spot" when it collapsed. Her nose was visible, but the weight of the soil had to compress her lungs and chest> making it so she could not breathe. MJ suffocated in her den on 07/08/05, not too far from her companion and just over a year old.

PLEASE, PLEASE take this story to heart, check your own dens and make sure they are either very secure and safe or collapse them in immediately. I know I did with the puppies' den in my run last night. I want no repeats of MJ's sad ending. She was a beautiful animal that was loving and affectionate to everyone once she was healthy and knew she could trust us.

I'm only sorry we could not foresee the danger she was creating for herself. Don't let this happen to another animal (wolf or domestic). Please spread MJ's story far and wide so her death is not without meaning."

We won't include any links in this blog, out of respect for MJ.

We will point out that you may subscribe to this blog newsletter from Aboriginals: Art of the First Person by clicking on the "sign up here" icon.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Volunteers wanted for Indian Market and 8 Northern Show

The following notices were gleaned from New Mexico Culture Net. If you want to get close and personal with Native American art these are wonderful opportunities.

ARTS AND CRAFTS SHOW ASKING FOR VOLUNTEERS The Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Arts and Crafts Show to be held at the Eight Northern Pueblos Visitor Center July 16 & 17 is looking for volunteers from the comunity to help the non-profit Arts Show. This show is the largest Native American sponsored event of its kind in the world. Volunteers, ages 16 and over, are needed to answer visitor questions, work in the gift booth, direct traffic and assist with a variety of other activities. In exchange for a four hour.comitment, each worker will receive lunch and free admission to the Arts and Crafts Show. The Show, in its 34th year, attracts more than 400 leading Native American artists from throughout the Southwest and beyond and draws thousands of visitors. For information or to volunteer, please call Reanna Aguino at 505-747-1593.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR INDIAN MARKET 2005* Contact Annette Adams, Volunteer Coordinator, at 505-983-5220 to request a volunteer form.

* Indian Market is in mid-August.

This message is brought to you by Aboriginals: Art of the First Person, on the web at the following addresses:

and in the blogosphere at

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Sunday, July 03, 2005

Bits & Pieces Around Tribal Art World

Ebay Action

Lovers of Australian Aboriginal Art may have already found them, but these items are so impressive that you don’t need a passion for downunder to appreciate them. Currently, there are some outstanding Australian Aboriginal dot paintings up for auction on Ebay. They range in opening bid from $500 to $146,000.

That’s right. 146 thousand US dollars. That painting is by an unchallenged master of this genre, Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri (deceased), (Ebay 6542745910). You ought to look at it, if only to see what top quality Aboriginal dot painting looks like. (If you like it, you can bid So far, no one has. B>) The same seller has another Clifford Possum at a meager $15,700 opening bid. (Ebay 6542258002).

While you are there, a search for Aboriginal art should turn up the other paintings by Pansy Napangati, Ada Bird Petyarre, Gloria Petyarre and Dini Campbell, among others. (Shameless plug: You will also find a nice selection of dot paintings and other Australian Aboriginal art at . In fact, we have few paintings by Clifford Possum’s daughter, Gabriella. She is fine artist in her own right. We acquired these several years ago and they are priced according to her pre-appreciation period.

Most of the Ebay auctions mentioned above close starting July 5, 2005.

Old is good. Clean is not.

In the world of African tribal art, debate continues about whether or not an African carving has to be old, in deed, “antique,” to be considered authentic and/or valuable. There are three discussion groups that we know of that discuss this and other issues of African tribal art, such as source identification and past use.

Try these groups for more insights: African Antiques, African Art and Tribal Art Forum. All are Yahoo groups.

Another subject recently discussed was the proper way to clean African art and artifacts. A consensus was to resist the temptation. Very often what appears to be “dirt” was a ritually applied substance such as feathers and chicken blood. It enhances the validity and value of the piece. In addition, the patina associated with age can be removed in the cleaning process. It may make the object more pleasing visually but it almost inevitably makes it less valuable.

To market we will go.

In Native American art, the place to be and the time to be there is Santa Fe NM in mid-August. It’s Indian Market, when the world is drawn to the artists’ booths to see the best of their production for the year. The most highly prized work by the most renowned artists often is sold out before mid-morning. It is a tue festival of art, with a festival’s congestion and crowds. If you like that kind of thing, figure out a way to get to Santa Fe in August. You may be too late to book a room in Santa Fe, since the most popular hostelries fill up as last year’s guest are packing to leave. But Albuquerque, just an hour and change away should have plenty of hotel space.

If you can’t get to Indian Market, there are many Indian Powwows scheduled for the coming months. Here are just three:

July 16 & 17 – Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Arts & Crafts Fair is at San Juan Pueblo, NM

July 20 through 23 – World Eskimo Indian Olympics takes place in Fairbanks, AK. Events? The ear pull, toe kick, knuckle hop, ear weight, greased pole walk, blanket toss and dances. If you’re up for it, a white men vs. Indian women tug-of-war is on the docket.

August 13 & 14 – Zuni Arts & Cultural Expo is staged at the Zuni Pueblo in New Mexico. Lots of great Zuni art right from the sources.

A Navajo Passage.

If you are interested in Native American culture and ceremonies, especially Navajo, the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper has a special feature today (Sunday, July 2) on Kinaalda’, a ritual that celebrates the passing of a young girl into womanhood. It is described as a grueling four-day, three-night Blessing Way ceremony that takes place after a Navajo girl begins menstruation. There is more to read and learned at the New Mexican’s Web site.

All this seems like an eclectic pot-pourri of Tribal Art observations. It covers some of the breadth of our interests at Aboriginals: Art of the First Person, the publisher of this blog enewsletter. We will keep looking for interesting content to share with you. In the meantime, have great 4th of July weekend and visit us at one of the following Web sites.

By the way, if you would like to “subscribe” to this blog enewsletter, simply click on the "Sign Up" icon on this page. You will see a screen that explains how to do it. You can even arrange to be notified when there is an update.

Monday, June 27, 2005

New wolves and other news

Hello Tribal Artery fans:

This weekend we posted a lot of wolf, fox and coyote fetish carvings to our Zuni Link Website at On the home page, click on the wolves/foxes/coyotes link near the bottom of the page. There actually are three pages, so if you are interested in the wolf/fox/coyote family, pick any oneof them and then click through to the others. And don't overlook the carvers' pages, where wolves et al have been posted because they were done by carvers such Tsalabutie, Quam and Lena Boone.

We've also reorganized and updated our jewelry pages at Many pieces were sold and they have been replaced by new ones. We never stop being amazed by the artistry and inspiration of jewelry makers from Zuni, Navajo, Isleta, Santa Domingo and other peoples.

Periodically, we receive orders from people who bypass the order form. When the orders arrive we wonder if there was something wrong with the order form. Of course, we welcome orders no matter how they arrive. But we become concerned that a malfunctioning order form may discourage some potential buyers. So we run a test on the form and it inevitably works. So what is going on? If you have been frustrated by our order form we would like to hear from you. You can email us at That's also the sure way to get an order to us, if all else fails.

Gordon Bronitsky at New Mexico Culture is working on an idea to send a Hispanic- Native American entertainment troupe to the Marianas Islands in the South Pacific. If you have an interest in supporting such an effort, you can reach Gordon at

Our friend Clint at the Free Spirit Gallery announces the arrival of a number of salmon carving plaques from G. Baker. He also runs a blog called IndianInuitArt. When you subscribe to our blog through Bloglines, (click on the "Sign up"icon at the bottom of the sidebar) you can add Clint's blog to your feed.

As you know, we offer tribal art from Africa and Australia, too, at We received an email messages from another gallery with Australian Aboriginal art in their dillybag. BookerLowe's proprietors were coming to Captiva and we suggested a cup of coffee to discuss common interests. Turns out that their home on Captiva still was not repaired from Hurricane Charley and they were tied up with repair people so we never got to see them. Perhaps next time.

On the African front, we have become impressed with works in the collection at If you are interested, it's worth a visit.

By the way, we are not paid for mentioning anyone in this blog. We do it because we think these are good sources and we want to share them with our readers.

That's all for this issue. We'll see you next time, whenever that is.

PS: To subscribe to this blog, click on the "sign up" icon or the RSS icon near the bottom of the sidebar on the right hand of this page. The link will tell you how to do it.


Saturday, June 25, 2005

Collaborative Indian Market Piece "Inspires Generations"



Santa Fe, NM--A very unusual item will be part of the Santa Fe Indian Market celebration this year. The Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) will be raffling off a 48” side-by-side Viking gourmet refrigerator that has been designed and hand-painted by acclaimed Acoma potters, Maria Lilly Salvador, her sister Wanda Aragon, and Wanda’s daughter, Clarice. It will be unveiled at the Southwest Design Conference at the Sweeney Convention Center in Santa Fe, NM on Friday, June 24 (10am - 5pm) thanks to the generosity of Western Interiors & Design Magazine.

“We were delighted to give SWAIA exposure at the conference,” said Carol Decker, CEO of Western Interiors & Design Magazine. “The refrigerator is a stunning piece of design—people will be blown away by it—and we love to support the Santa Fe Indian Market.”

The refrigerator evolved from SWAIA thinking of new and fun items that could be part of the auction gala this year. David Cloutier, Executive Director of SWAIA said, “The people at Viking Range Corp., SunWest Appliance Distributing and Showcase Appliance Center of Santa Fe were kind enough to donate this very high-end refrigerator. As we thought about which artists we should approach to design it, we thought about the origins of Native American pottery as a food storage device. Since the refrigerator is the ultimate evolution of that idea, we thought it would be wonderful to have potters work on this piece.”

Enter Maria “Lilly” Salvador and Wanda Aragon. SWAIA wanted Acoma potters in particular noting that Acoma designs could translate well to such a large piece. “We approached Lilly and Wanda because we loved their work,” said Connie Tsosie Gaussoin, SWAIA Gala Chairperson. “They really embraced the project as something that would be fun and a challenge for them.”

What SWAIA did not anticipate was the tie-in this project would have with the theme of the gala this year—“Inspiring Generations.” There are several collaborative pieces being offered in the auction that represent multiple generations of some of Native America’s leading artistic families. Lilly and Wanda are sisters and they looked to some of their late mother’s designs that she had passed down to them for inspiration on this project. From the traditional Acoma parrot design on the right hand door to the more abstract black & white rain symbols on the left hand door, Frances Torivio’s legacy sparked their creativity. The sisters also spoke about how this project brought them closer together. “We don’t get to see each other that often,” explained Wanda who lives in Albuquerque (Lilly lives in Acoma). “We had so much fun spending all of that time together working on this and just talking and catching up. It really made us closer.” A third generation of the family became involved, too. Wanda’s daughter, Clarice Aragon, designed and painted the stunning zig-zag border around both doors.

The spectacular finished piece is not just for the kitchen. The panels (generously donated by Wolfswinkel Enterprises Custom Woodworking) are detachable from the refrigerator, so the custom made artwork can be preserved long after the refrigerator is gone.

Raffle tickets will be sold in front of the refrigerator at the Southwest Design Conference from 10am-5pm, June 24-26th, throughout the summer at the SWAIA offices and at select SWAIA events. Only 300 raffle tickets will be sold at $100 per ticket. The estimated value of the refrigerator and the artwork is $17,000. The winner will be drawn at the Santa Fe Indian Market Auction Gala on the evening of August 20th at La Fonda Hotel (one does not have to be present at the gala to win). To purchase a raffle ticket, or for more information please call SWAIA at 505-983-522 0. To preview the piece online, please visit SWAIA's website under "Current News" at


Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Another place to find tribal art

Yo Tribal art fans:

We recently discovered another site that accepts 'free' listings of tribal art offerings (and other items). It's

We have posted a number of items - and probably will post more when we get a chance. Included are some major African pieces and some Alaskan walrus ivory and whalebone carvings. There are even a Tohono O'dham basket and a Seminole basket.

Whether you are a buyer or a seller, I encourage you to visit We need to support alternatives to monoliths like eBay.

Other items of interest include the pottery of Wayne Snowbird of Santa Clara. We first encountered Wayne's work under the portale of the Governor's Palace in Santa Fe. We were struck by the grace and elegance of his figurative pottery pieces. On our last trip to Santa Clara, we met Wayne in his home and were able to acquire pieces fresh from the firing. They are posted at

Our friend, Salvador Romero of Cochiti continues to produce fetish carvings in his unique style. Whenever we visit Cochiti, we stop by to see Salvador, his mother (a very sweet matriarch), his brother, Wilson and Wilson's wife, Annette Romero, who does very desirable pottery nativities. We hope to acquire more of this talented family's work in the near future.

We'll be sending some more information in our next blog. Meantime, to subscribe to this blog, so that all you have to do to read future postings is click on the blog link on your computer, click on the Site Feed link at the bottom of the sidebar to the right. It will tell you how to subscribe to this and other blogs that you may discover.

We'll be trolling for your eyes next time around.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Busy Days

Howdy, Tribal Art fans:

These are busy days at Aboriginals: Art of the First Person.

We are in the throes of a sell-down in the gallery in anticipation of our physical closing in the next month or so. The indefinite nature of the date is a result of a possible month-to-month extension of our lease. We were due to be out on July 1. The landlord, however, has advised that the new tenant will not move in until September. So, we have a few weeks of slack to wrap things up.

We will continue to offer fine triabl art online at all of our web sites. They are - , with 12 pages of gorgeous, hand-made Native American jewelry. with equally spectacular hand-made Native American pottery. where the whole thing started and which still offers a smattering of Native American art objects, but principally offers African and Australian Aboriginal art. Oh yes, there also is Arctic art on tribalworks, at least until our arctic-artlink gets activated.

Then there is ZuniLink, our site for authentic Zuni fetish carvings. We have just added almost a dozen new Lynn Quam buffalo carvings at (Probably obscured by the link underscore is the fact that there are underscores between the words "Lynn" "Quam" "Carvings "at" "Zuni" and 'Link". Also, if you happen to copy the url down for later use, the uppercase letters after the back slash are important to make the link.)

Once you are on the ZuniLink site, you might navigate to other pages, where some new-to-the-web carvings have been posted. These are carvings that had been reserved for gallery visitors but now will be offered on the Web.

Just because we are closing the physical gallery on Sanbiel doesn't mean we are abandoning the islands. Sanibel will continue to be our emotional home in Southwest Florida. William is on the Chamber Board of Directors and writes the monthly enewsletter. If you would like to subscribe to that Sanibel-Captiva update, go to and click to opt in to the enewsletter. William tries to keep in light but informative and it is an easy way to stay up to date about Sanibel-Captiva doings.

Other news: A recent fire at the local greyhound track killed a number of dogs and moved a larger number of them into adoption status. Since they can't race any more (thank God), they can be adopted. If you didn't know, we have two rescued greyhounds, our third and fourth. We encourage others to take theese loving creatures into their care. You will never have a more loyal or bonded pet. A good place to start is at This is an organization we support and we can recommend the proprietor, Helen Banks, without reservation.

That's the news from Aboriginals: Art of the First Person for now.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Welcome to Tribal Artery

Many people will recognize this as the blog version of the original Tribal Artery enewsletter from Aboriginals: Art of the First Person.

With changes in the Internet and email expectations, we decided that it would be better for all if we created a blog that can be updated as spirit moves us and accessed by interested parties as the spirit moves them.

Since this is a launch posting, we will save news for another day.

In the meantime, all who access this blog are welcome to visit our web sites at


We also can be found on eBay at our store - Art of the First Person.

A bientot.