Thursday, October 23, 2008

Emery Boone, Zuni fetish carver, joins our inventory

News about Tribal Art from William Ernest Waites, proprietor of, a web site featuring the carvings of top Zuni fetish makers.

During our recent Santa Fe trip, we acquired a number of new carvings by Emery Boone.

Emery Boone is known for his execution of an ancient Zuni fetish technique, inlay of
traditional iconographic designs in jet and pipestone.

One of these designs incorporates turquoise in a motif known as the Chaco pattern. It is usually used in conjunction with frogs, where it spans the back. Frogs are associated with abundance related to being harbingers of rain and moisture.
Another design also relates to the benefits of rain. It manifests itself as a cloud with rain descending and appears on both the backs of frogs, when the Chaco design isn't used , and on the side of other creatures.

Third is the familiar heart line. It occasionally appears in Emery's work in conjuntion with the raincloud design.
There is no question that Emery Boone has a style that is pretty much his own and easy to distinguish.

We have posted a several of his new jet and pipestone carvings to our ZuniLink web site on two pages devoted exclusively to his work.
Take a look by clicking here. Be sure to click the link to page two while you are there.

Discover the Inuit Art Society

The latest in Tribal Art as reported by William Ernest Waites, proprietor of Tribal Art web sites at,, and

"Living is learning"

I don't know who said this, so I will take credit for it.

Today's lesson was the existence of an organization devoted to the study, appreciation and exchange of information about Inuit art. It's web site ( says it was founded in 2003 and centers its activities in the geographic area of most of its members, the upper mid-western USA. There are said to be about 100 current members.

The news is the Inuit Art Society is holding its annual meeting in Indianapolis, IN from November 14th through the 16th. The meeting is being held at the Eiteljorg Museum in conjunction with the opening of a show of Inuit art at the Peabody Museum, entitled "Our Land".

We are told that the keynote speaker will be Lorne Balshine, president of the Arctic Art Museum Society of British Columbia. He will discuss the evolution of Inuit art, including observations from 30 years of watching Inuit art auctions at Waddington's.

An inukshuk will be built on the museum grounds by Peter Imiq, who also will demonstrate drum dancing. Kendra Tagoona and Charlotte Qamaniq will demonstrate throat-singing.

Membership in the Inuit Art Society is offered to all who share the organization's mission and interests and agree to abide by its rules of conduct. Details about membership, including a downloadable application, and about registering for the Annual Meeting are available at the IAS web site.

Perhaps someone in the area who attends the meeting can post a report of the proceedings to Tribal Artery. Simply click the comments button.

(A tip of the tip hat to Uncle Gene at IndianInuitArt Group at Yahoo Groups and to his source, Bill Phillips, for letting us know about this.)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Australian Aboriginal Art and Tourism - a good-bad fit

News from the world of tribal art from William Ernest and Susanne Waites, proprietors of TribalWorks, a website created by Aboriginals: Art of the First Person Gallery.

As someone who has had deep experience in, and deep affection for, both Aboriginal Art and tourism promotion, I was struck by a recent article from the Australia's Herald Sun.

It seems
a.) that Tourism Australia has launched a new television campaign, to the tune of AU$40 million, promoting travel to Australia by promoting the uniqueness of Aboriginal culture and the rejuvenating effect of experiencing it - or at least, the outback in which it is created, and b.) at least one self-appointed critic has decided to mock it.

I have not seen the commercials, which were directed by the same
Baz Luhrman who has directed the new feature flick, Australia, starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman.

Such credentials should suggest a cinematic tour de force. And perhaps they will be.

The critic, however, takes Tourism Australia to task for using subject material that is obscure and remote. "Obscure" in that the settings for the commercial are parts of Australia that very few people have or ever will visit, comparatively speaking. "Remote" in that these places are very difficult to reach. No easy transportation will take you there from any major Australian port of arrival.

Now, I have lived in Australia, not in the outback but in a city every bit as cosmopolitan as cities anywhere in the world. I have traveled to the outback. More than once. It is a fascinating place. Although, it actually is so vast it is several places.

Getting there was anything but convenient.

I made the trip with Sue because of our pre-existing interest in Aboriginal art. Other than Ayers Rock (ULURU), a geologic oddity that has its own touristic attraction, I doubt that we would have traveled to many, if any of the outback locations, on a holiday. Even more doubtful that it would have been a destination we would have entertained for a holiday if we were not living in Australia.

On the one hand,
I applaud an effort that promotes awareness and appreciation of this unique culture and its stimulating art products. I hope more people get to know about Australian Aboriginal art and the beautiful, talented people who create it. As an investment in cultural awareness, it certainly can be justified.

On the other hand, as a tourism professional, I know what attracts visitors in large numbers. I am afraid that it is not the esoterica of remote out-lands and unknown cultures. Some people will be attracted by having their eyes opened to this different world. But enough to provide an ROI on AU$40 million? Doubtful.

Seems to me that this is a exercise in touristic self-indulgence and "look-at-how-enlightened-we-are" national expression. Perhaps, it is a form of emotional reparations for the years during which the European invaders of Australia abused the native population.

But, if the idea is to get more people to visit Australia, I share the critic' s opinion that the tried-and-true attractions of beaches, urban attractions, scenery and travel that is not quite so challenging - as offered by Crocodile Dundee (aka Paul Hogan) - are likely to be more fruitful.

That aside, I am be pleased that Australian taxpayers are spending their funds to promote Australian Aboriginal art - if only by association.

It should be good for all of us who already know the art and love it enough to seek it out for its own sake.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Six directions carvings by Brian Yatsattie, Zuni Pueblo, tribal art carver

Images of six directions sets by Brian Yatsattie are posted below.

While in Santa Fe earlier this summer, we encountered the work of Zuni Pueblo Carver, Brian Yatsattie. We had not carried his work before. We were struck by the appeal of his six directions sets carved from antler.

Then, as we walked through the Santo Domingo Pueblo Market, we turned the corner to find him sitting in his booth with his young child on lap.

We were able to convince him to wholesale some of his work to us. After returning to Florida, we received a phone call that he was ready to send us some of his six directions Zuni fetish sets. Three of them later arrived in the mail. We purchased two of them, the third being very similar.

One of the the sets portrayed the six protectors with robes and feathers carved into the bases.
The other set had the creatures wrapped in blanket-style robe carving.As background, six directions sets are carved by a few Zuni Pueblo carvers.

They include the eagle, protector of the sky; the bear, protector of the West; the mole, protector of the underworld; the badger, protector of the South; the mountain lion, protector of the North; and the wolf, protector of the East.

In Zuni belief, these animals represent the spiritual strength
and power of the ancients. To have them on your side, is to protect yourself from harmful influences.

The eagle brings spirit, vision, truth, and connection withthe Great Spirit.

The mountain lion stands for leadership, traveler protection and success at the hunt.

The bear represents strength of soul, inner power, introspection and healing.

The badger is known for aggressiveness and perseverance.

The wolf is considered the teacher, the pathfinder, the source of clarity and survival.

The mole protects the crops.

Recently, at our request for a taller set, Brian Yatsattie sent us another set of six directional animals. Whereas the first two sets stood about 3 1/2" tall, the new set's creatures are 7" tall.
Now, if you are interested in these sets, and in looking more closely at the individual pieces in each set, make a visit to our ZuniLink web site and click on the link to six directions carvings

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Calvin Begay Native American Jewelry Added to Native-JewelryLink

Now is the time to start that "early-bird" holiday shopping.

So we have just completed an upload of several dozen new Calvin Begay works of Native American jewelry art.

There are gorgeous bracelets and pendants for your review at Simply scroll down on the home page to the links that go to Calvin's pages.

Click away and see the latest in great Native American Indian jewelry from one of the masters.

Buy shopping early,

> you get the best selection,

> you assure that your gift arrives in
plenty of time for giving

> you get
until January 5, 2009 to return any gift purchase that is not well received

> you
save gas and time

> if you are not located in Florida, you pay
no sales tax.

>And if you enter the code -
"free shipping" - in the comments section of our secure order form, we'll ship your gift jewelry order free via USPS Priority to any US destination.

So, why not start now?

You can also visit our other Web sites at
ZuniLink, Native-PotteryLink and TribalWorks for gift ideas for folks who have special collector interests.

We'll be looking for you.

Monday, October 06, 2008

New Salvador Romero Cochiti fetish carvings are online

We love Salvador Romero and his work. It's always a pleasure to see him, as we did again this year in Santa Fe. After a nice - too much nice- breakfast, Salvador opened his trunk and brought out the carvings he had created for us.

Here are a few examples, which have been added to Salvador's pages on our ZuniLink web

A Raven in Pueblo Stone

Here's a prairie dog, those denizens of the desert

Here's a family of bears, Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Baby Bear

A horse, a horse. Salvador does a horse.

An eagle stands alertly, waiting for someone to claim it.

Here's a hawk in sandstone.

The badger is a fearsome protector among fetish animals. You can see why.

A wise owl materializes from Pueblo stone.

And there are more. Click on the images to go to the appropriate page at ZuniLink.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Heads-Up for Australian Aboriginal Tribal Art Collectors

If the Australian Parliament passes it, an Australian resale royalty plan for visual artists will become law, effective July 1 2009. The royalty (5%) will be payable on the sale of works of art sold through the secondary market. The requirement will apply to works acquired by the seller after the law takes effect.

If a seller sells an original artwork acquired prior to July 2009, a resale royalty will not be payable. Any work acquired by the seller after the effective date and sold on the secondary market will require the seller to pay the royalty. If a work is sold on the secondary market after the effective date and it was acquired by the seller prior to effective date, no resale royalty payment will be required.

This well-intended law will be enacted to protect the interests of artists, especially tribal artists, in their work after it reaches the secondary market. (Incidentally, we have been down the road of well intentions before and we know where it leads.) It is a reasonable concern that a work that is purchased from an artist for a low price, which is subsequently sold for a much higher price, deprives the artist of gains from his or her growing reputation, and places gain in the hands of the reseller.

As with all such efforts, has the Law of Unintended Consequences been considered? Will requiring a 5% royalty payable to the artist encourage resellers to buy less art directly from the artist, especially new, emerging artists? Will prices increase to cover the obligation of the royalty? Will the increase in cost to the reseller lead him/her to close due to insufficient net income? What then will happen to the market for the art of indigenous Australian Aboriginal artists?

Obviously, the Australian law may not be applicable anywhere else
. I believe they will not be able to require it from us, since we are located in the United States. Although work that Australians buy from us to have shipped back to Australia, will fall within the law if they purchase it after the effective date (scheduled for July 2009.)

Bottom line for the readers of this blog is the warning that it is better to buy Australian Aboriginal art now instead of post-July, 2009. Such purchases will be protected from the requirement to pay 5% when they sell the art to another party. We have several beautiful works by well known Australian Aboriginal artists for sale on our web site at With our US location, we can serve clients all over the world without royalty charges.

Incidentally, Australian Aboriginal Tribal art is growing in popularity in the US
, witness this article at And we at Aboriginals: Art of the First Person have just shipped several major pieces to a buyer in Europe.

Postpone your intended purchases at your peril.