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."

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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?
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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

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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
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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.)

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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