Friday, December 24, 2010

Special sale on African mask

We are offering this authentic African tribal art mask from the Kuba people for 50% off the regular price. It has been listed in our gallery,, at $1,000.

We now will sell it at $500. The wrought iron stand is included.

It is a stunning work of African tribal mask art, authentic in every way. We acquired it for our personal collection in 1996. While the precise age can not be determeind, we know it is at least 15 years old, today.

Contact us at 800-305-0185 to arrange purchase. Thank you.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Stolen Item Alert

As members of the Antique Tribal Art Dealers Association (ATADA), we periodically receive alerts concerning items of tribal art that have been reported stolen. Experience suggests that wide dissemination of the alert to those who buy, collect or deal in tribal art can lead either to the arrest of the thief or suppression of the item's value as it is a crime to possess stolen property.

The latest alert concerns a three-stone turquoise Navajo bracelet.

More information about the stolen item and other stolen items reported to ATADA can be found at this link.

Aboriginals: Art of the First Person and its subsidiary web site, are happy to support ATADA's efforts to discourage the theft of tribal art by reposting these alerts.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Melvin Sandoval fills our inventory of fetish carvings

Melvin Sandoval is a remarkably talented carver, with a sense of contemporary style that is unusual, even among his cohort of excellently talented artists.
His pieces are fluid, soft, supple and sophisticated in style. He has carved bears, lizards, badgers, double animals, wolves, foxes, ravens and eagles, in dolomite and other stones.
We fell in love with his carving the first time we encountered it. We have since become good friends with him, his family and his wife, Erma, who is Zuni. This summer, he graciously invited us to join a baptism celebration in his sister's home. It was an extremely memorable experience. We met his entire, I mean "entire", family, and the food just kept coming from the kitchen.
Thank you, Melvin, We were honored to be your guests and honored to be your friend.

To see Melvin's work, go to

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New Dee Edaakie Carvings

We are working fast and furiously, well, not "furiously", more like joyously, to post up new fetish carvings that we acquired this summer for our ZuniLink web site.

The latest batch is from Dee Edaakie.

Here are three examples:

Buffalo in boulder opal

Standing bear in Chiapas amber

Bear in picture rock

Since we are running late, we are marking down all of Dee's work, even his older pieces, by 25% just through Friday, November 26.

If you see one (or more) that you want to buy at this special discounted price, use the order code "DeeLights" when you order. The discount will be applied to your purchase.

To see more of Dee's work, go to ZuniLink and look through Dee's pages.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Salvador Romero Carvings Are Up

We have just completed posting of new Salvador Romero Cochiti carvings to our Web site. These are the same carvings he refers to in this video interview. Scroll down for savings news.

See them and more outstanding work on the Web site.


Wolf and cub

Buy now to have for holiday giving.
Use the special customer's buyer's code "11/15" and save 20% through November 25, 2010.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Save 25% off Native American jewelry earrings

Breaking silence here to announce that we are deducting 25% off every earrings pair purchased from our Native American Jewelry Link site. Pages and pages at 25% discount, to celebrate the many new pairs we have added. Prices start as low as $20 before discount. Take a look, but move quickly. Christmas and the holidays are coming. And almost every pair we have is one-of-a- kind. When it's sold, it is "out the door".

Click on the link above to reach the first of 20 pages and more than a hundred pairs to choose from. Then visit the remaining pages to see the entire selection.

Calculate your cost and savings by subtracting 25% from the list price on the web site. Thank you.

Thank you.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Native American jewelry, Gold and Silver

In December last year, I blogged about gold hovering around $1,200 an ounce, comparing that to to an earlier message when I reported it was about $800 per ounce.

Today, it probably will close above $1,300 per ounce.
Silver is tagging right along behind it, having moved from about $12 an ounce to above $21 per ounce when I checked last.

Silver plays an essential
part in the making of of the Native American jewelry. Gold is less important these days because the price of gold has moved above the investment level of many American Indian jewelry artists.

Will silver be the next precious metal that becomes "too precious" for use in native American Indian jewelry?

No one knows. And no one should encourage you or anyone else to buy either gold or silver as an investment. If you have the resources, the ability to take the risk and a lot more knowledge than we can impart here, it might be worth making it a part of your investment portfolio.

On the other hand, we know that the increase in the value of gold, and more important recently, silver, means that jewelry we acquired at much lower gold prices and silver prices are much more valuable today. If history repeats, it will become more valuable still.

Here's the really good news.
None of the precious metal jewelry items we have for sale has been increased in price. We are charging exactly what we were back then. Clearly, the replacement cost will be higher. But that is for
us to worry about.

As the Holidays approach and gift giving begins to rise on our interest levels, this is an excellent time to visit our
Native-JewelryLink web site and shop.

For the month of October, we will even ship jewelry orders domestically at our expense, free to you (exclusive of insurance, if requested), just to get you in the Christmas shopping mode.

Of course, as always, if you are unhappy with your purchase from us after you receive it, you have seven days to let us know and a reasonable time thereafter to send it back for a refund. If you purchase it as a gift, we will honor the return privilege until 10 days after Christmas.

Stop by and see some of the most gorgeous Native America Indian jewelry you will ever see, artists such as Begay, Plummer, Jackson, Dewa, Ration, Coonsis and others. Thank you.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Tribal Art Native AmericanNavajo rug reported stolen

Antique Tribal Art Dealers Association, of which Aboriginals is a member, has posted anothter stolen object report.

In this case it is a Navajo Ganado Style rug that was stolen on Sept 22, 2010 from the Phioenix Tribal Arts Show.

For more information, visit the ATADA Stolen Objects page this address.

Please be alert for anyone trying to sell this rug. It is stolen property and it is against the law to possess it.

Thank you.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Native American Nativity Sets Arrive in time for Christmas

Around 400 years ago, as the Spanish conquistadors moved north from Central America into the pueblo lands in what was to become the United States of America, they brought with them Catholic missionaries, to spread the story of Christianity.

As the story of Christ’s birth began to permeate some of the beliefs of the native people, it began to find a place in pueblo Indian culture.

Eventually, the Nativity became a staple as a subject for several Pueblo potters. Now, some of the beautiful pottery being created portrays the Nativity scene.

We recently returned from the Southwest, where we had the opportunity to acquire some new Nativity sets.

Three of them are pictured below.
For more details including price, a quick click on the pictures here will take you the object’s page on our pottery web site.

With Christmas rapidly approaching, this is a excellent time to comnsider acquiring on of these or our other Nativity sets to celebrate Christmas in your home. And to own a magnificent work of Native American art that your family hand down from generation to generation,

Feliz Navidad!

PS: As I wrote this blog, I was reminded of a more comprehensive article I wrote for broader publication a few years ago. I have posted it here.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Jeff Shetima's Zuni Six Directions Fetish Carving

The definition of "smitten" - how I fell in love with this beautiful six directions fetish carving by Jeff Shetima. The Gallup InterTribal Indian Ceremonial judges agreed apparently since it received the Best of Category Blue Ribbon at that competition. Anyway, here's a video look at it.

Hope you enjoy looking at it as much as I enjoy owning it. Someday it may even show up on our ZuniLink fetish web site. And thanks to Jeff Shetima for his inspired artistry.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Vintage Australian Aboriginal Art comes out of hiding.

Well, not exactly out of "hiding". But, until now these vintage Australian Aboriginal artefacts have been in our private collection and not shared publicly on the Web. As of this weekend, they have been added to the web site and may be seen in all their glory and detail at (navigate to the Australian Room).

Here are some sneak previews.

This smallish woomera (spearthrower) was acquired from well-respected Aboriginal art dealer, Tony Bond, in Adelaide, Australia, in 2000. The age was estimated as ca. 1950s.

This somewhat larger woomera was acquired from a private collection in Sydney after the death of the collector. It's age is estimated at ca. 1950 as well. If you look closely you can see incisions that have been inscribed on the thrusting face of the object.

The next item is a "message board" - a carved oblong of would with Australian Aboriginal iconography etched on it's face. Message boards were used to communicate between Aborigibal groups in the desert. We have high confidence that this item is more than 100 years old. We acquired it from a dealer i 1996 who attested that it was originally acquired by a government officer in the 119th century.

Finally, here is a "fighting" shield, although it probably was used more for dancing. since Aborigines very seldom fought. It has been reported that settling of inter-tribal grievances would be done by the aggrieved groups confronting one another, dancing in threatening ways, and returning to their camps with both sides claiming victory. True? At least, it's a nice story in these days of mayhem and violence.

All of these pieces and more may be inspected more closely by visiting the TribalWorks web site, clicking on the "Australian Room" and then clicking on "carvings".

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Tribal Art from our private collection

Poking around in our personal collection, we have turned up a couple of items never before presented to our public.

One Australian Aboriginal item is a beautiful, round, hand-woven basket done in pandanus fiber, with a firmly fitting lid, a four-coil handle and rosettes on each side. We acquired it in Cairns, at the Capricorn Gallery.

At the time, it was highly regarded by the gallery owner, as an outstanding example of the basket-weaving tradition and skills of the Australian Aboriginal artisans from the Oenpelli/Kakadu region of the Northern Territory.

The size is 10" high by 13" in diameter.

Unfortunately, the name of the basket weaver has been lost to the ages.

Pandanus is a common plant fiber from the Australian outback and top end, that is used for basket making. Colors are achieved by dying the fibers with natural ochres, ground into a fine powder and boiled in water.

This basket is a true expression of Australian Aboriginal culture and art in a functional piece. It is possible to be moved by the spirit when looking at it and feeling the quality of the weaving.

A second item from Aboriginal Australia is this carving of a parrot. We believe it was created by an Aborigine artist from Groote Eylandt, a sizable island to the north of the Australian mainland in the Gulf of Carpentaria. The Blitners are a well-known family of artists from Groote Eylandt and we feel one of them could have been the creator of this remarkable piece.

Groote Eylandt is occupied by the Warnindhilyagwa people. It received its unusual name when named by Dutch explorer, Abel Tasman. Groote Eylandt is archaic Dutch for Large Island.

Regional cultures within Australia can vary widely in their traditions and art styles. The somewhat rough quality of this carving suggests it is rather old piece, although we can not attest to its age. We find it very powerful, reflecting portrayal from a time when parrots were important totems in Northern Australia. It is one of our favorite vintage pieces, standing 26" high with a 4.5" diameter at the base. Colors were achieved using natural ochres, kaolin and charcoal.

Eventually, both of these items will find their way to our web site. If you are interested n acquiring either of them, please visit us at and navigate to the Australian Room.

You are always welcome.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Sal Romero, Cochiti fetish carver, on video

One of our favorite Native American artists is Salvador Romero of Cochiti Pueblo. Sal carves differently from most Zuni fetish carvers. Whereas Zuni fetish carvers tend to carve in special gemstone and other commercial materials, Salvador carves stones and rocks that he harvests from the grounds of his pueblo. In this video, he talks about the process of finding carving material and how it leads him to what to carve.

ZuniLink, a name we chose because the preponderance of fetish carvers are Zuni, carries several pages of Salvador's carvings. Newly acquired one will be posted to the Web site shortly In the meantime, take a look at what's available now from this talented carver.
Thank you.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Samuel Manymules, Navajo, describes his "Perfect World" pot

We have several pots created by Samuel Manymules, who won to awards at this year's Indian Market. We were particualar struck by this pot when we encountered Samuel in his Indian Market booth.

We asked him to describe it on video tape for our viewers.

When you visit our website, click on the Navajo buttons on the navigation panel.

Lena Boone, Zuni fetish carver, talks about her family and carving.

Lena Boone has long been one of our favorite Zuni carvers. We meet her early in our pursuit of wonderful Zuni fetishes, possibly 20 years ago.

Lena is
very productive, very gracious, and very giving of her love, care and attention to others.

She also is very unassuming.

An unfortunate aspect of
In this video, during which she talks about her family, both ancestral and current, is my difficulty in arranging a proper video interview venue. Once she agreed, I had to settle for the venue at hand. It was a noisy booth at this year's Indian Market (2010).

The background sound is terrible, and I have not figured out how to filter it out, if that is even possible. If I do, I will re-post the video at a later time.

But for now, please listen carefully and learn about Lena's connection to the legendary Teddy Weahkie, one of the original Zuni fetish carvers, and how she fosters the talent of youngsters who have been in her care.

She is a truly remarkable woman.

You may see many pieces by Lena Boone on her pages at - click on one of her pages in the left hand navigation column. Then click on additional pages (there are five) as you go.

You may also use the search box on the Zuni Link home page and enter "Boone" too access carvings by her and Leland Boone, Emery Boone and Evalena Boone.

A fetish carving by Lena Boone not only brings traditional Zuni values of healing and protection but also carries the personal spirit and caring of Lena herself.

Thank you.

Friday, August 20, 2010

A highlight of our visit to New Mexico has been the 2010 Gallup InterTribal Indian Ceremonial, including the night parade that kicks it off.

We videotaped portions of it, which are shown in the following embedded youtube videos. Because of the length of the parade, we had to divide it into two parts. Watch both to get the full impact of the event.

We love the richness of Indian culture, its fidelity to family values, its enthusiasm and its arts, including Zuni carvings, Native American jewelry and Pueblo pottery, all of which are presented for purchase on our web sites. Thank you.

Zuni fetish carver, Burt Awelagte, tells about his carvings

While we were in Zuni and Gallup for the InterTribal, we visited Burt Awelagte in his home on the Zuni Pueblo. Here is what he had to say about his materials, his tools, his art and his vision. Fascinating!

More of Burt's
Zuni fetish carvings will soon be posted on our ZuniLink website. Make a point to visit it in the future. Thank you

Sheryl Mahooty discusses her Zuni turtle fetish carvings

One of our favorite places to stay is on the Zuni Pueblo. It's the Inn at Halona, about which we will write more later.

During this stay, in 2010, we met Sheryl Mahooty. Sheryl carves Zuni fetishes, preferring to carve turtles, although she carves other creatures too, as the humorous bit in this video interview shows.

As with many Native American artists, Sheryl augments her carving income by working at a second job. In her case, it is as a cook in the kitchen at the Inn at Halona. She helps to prepare the delicious breakfasts that the Inn serves to overnight guests. At the end of this video, she refers to the "B&B". Halona is the place she is talking about.

We were particularly fascinated by Sheryl's story because of her interpretation of turtle nesting and nurturing. As sometime residents of Sanibel iIsland, we are very aware of turtle nesting on the island beaches. So, we offer Sheryl's story (and her carvings) to all nature lovers and turtle fans. Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

ATADA addresses Federal raids on Native American artifact dealers and collectors.

We attended a meeting of the Antique Tribal Art Dealers Association on August 16, 2010 in Santa Fe.

The subject was the incidences of raids conducted by Federal investigators in the homes and premises of dealers in Native American pre-historic artifacts.

While ATADA opposes and condemns the behavior of the some bad actors in the pre-historic artifacts trade. But the ATADA maintains that the raids and allegations against a wide number of dealers, three of whom committed suicide, were without legal basis.

Jim Owen, a retired attorney, collector and member of ATADA, provided these comments at the meeting.

We do not endorse or rebut these observations. We are not attorneys. We feel, however, that the more you know about this controversy, the better you will be prepared to draw your own conclusions.

Brian Yatsattie tells about his Zuni fetish art.

During our travels in the Southwest, we found Brian Yatsattie at his home. We have carried Brian's Zuni fetish carvings for a while, having first met him at the Santo Domingo Arts & Crafts Festival in 2009. His six directions carvings, created in antler are still available on our web site.

This year, we acquired more Zuni fetishes from him and also had an opportunity to videotape him outside of his home, which now is on San Felipe Pueblo. Here is the Brian Yatsattie in his own words.

Brian's new Zuni carvings will soon be posted at Come back and look in a few days.

Thank you.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Colin Coonsis, Zuni jewelry artist speaks at the Wheelwright Museum

We have been very privileged to have several Native American artists appear on our video camera to talk about their work and their motivations. If you scroll down, you will find videos by Dee Edaakie and Melvin Sandoval.

Now, we were able to videotape Colin Coonsis as he was speaking to a group at the Wheelwright Museum in Santa Fe, NM. His exposition is compelling in its honesty and fascinating in its detail.

We are pleased to consider Colin a friend. We have done business with his mother, Rolanda Haloo, and are showing on our web site a photo of an extraordinary inlaid concho belt created by his father, Harlan Coonsis. Beautiful work by Harlan and Rolanda can be seen at our web site, New items acquired from Colin will be posted there shortly.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Meet Dee Edaakie, Zuni Pueblo fetish carver.

Today, we met with Dee Edaakie, one of our favorite Zuni carvers. We enjoy Dee both because of his superb and inventive carving and because he is a genuinely nice person. He came to our Santa Fe casita, accompanied by his young daughter. We purchased four carvings from him, and induced him to tell you about them in this video.

We hope that getting to know the carvers we work with and who we support will give you an even better sense of what Zuni fetish carvings are about. You will see more of Dee Edaakie's work and that of other carvers at ZuniLink, our web site featuring these outstanding works and the artists that create them.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

A video interview with Melvin Sandoval

This blog contains a video. Scroll down to view it.


Yesterday, we had the great pleasure of spending some time with Melvin Sandoval in his San Felipe Pueblo home.

We were driving through the Pueblo on our way to another meeting when we passed Melvin's home. One of his sons was in the front yard tending to the corn crop that was in various stages of ripening. Melvin later told us some of it already had been harvested, while other rows are still to reach maturity.

We pulled into Melvin's driveway and called to his son, "Is Melvin here?" In less than thirty seconds, Melvin emerged from behind his tidy, manufactured home. His hands were filled with small pieces of stone and covered with dust. We had caught him in the act of carving.

After a few seconds of "who are you?" looks from Melvin, we identified ourselves, "Susanne and Bill Waites". We had not seen Melvin for a couple of years. His appearance had changed and so had ours. Of course, we had the advantage of knowing where we were. For Melvin, we were just two people who appeared unannounced in a (rental) car he didn't recognize.

As the light of recognition came on, there were hearty, "How are you"s, followed by embraces of reunion.

Melvin invited us into his home and we sat at his dining table, catching up. He has a new granddaughter, by name of Madison, and he had started carving in earnest again, after a break for family and pueblo duties.

He showed us some of his newest carvings - a couple of otters, a couple of wolves and an eagle. The first four are in dolomite, a stone he likes to carve but has not had much supply of lately. The eagle is in travertine.

As he shared his vision, artistry and motivation with us, we asked if we could record him talking about it.

The Video:


We enjoy our time with Melvin, as we do with all of our artist friends from Native America.

It is one of the fringe benefits of operating web sites that feature their work -,, Native and

We hope you also will enjoy this encounter with Melvin Sandoval, a San Felipe carver with ties to Zuni and a deft touch in the Zuni style. His new carvings will be available on ZuniLink in September.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mark Bahti comments on Native American jewelry

We don't normally feature articles from other sources. But this interview in Collectors Weekly is so rich and informative that we are making an exception.

We encourage you to click through to it. Learn all you can from this fascinating author and collector about this fascinating subject.

Then, come to our Native American jewelry web site and check out the prices on our Native American bracelets, earrings, necklaces, pins and pendants. All are guaranteed authentically hand-made by Native American artists.

Thank you.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Coming up in August - Gallup Intertribal

In early August, Gallup, NM will host the 2010 Gallup Indian Inter-tribal Festival. This is a great event. It features a major exposition at NM's Red Rocks state Park and a night time parade down Route 66 in Gallup to open the event. We were there two years ago and posted a photo report on this blog (August, 2008). We plan to attend again this year.

A highlight of the parade is the company of Zuni Olla Maidens. These are Zuni women who march and dance with Zuni pottery ollas on their heads, while marching down Gallup's Route 66 (main street). One wonders how they can do it and not have the pots fallto the ground. But they do.

The Indian Trader, a Gallup newspaper, covers the story of the Olla Maidens in interesting detail along with some fascinating photographs. Since The Indian Trader is not online, you won't see this article, unless you enjoy a subscription. Phone 505-870-2135. But watch this blog in August. We plan to cover it.

Stay tuned.

And visit our web site at for more information and insight into Zuni traditions.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Fascinating Tale of Australian Aboriginal Art.

William Ernest Waites periodically reports on tribal art news and happenings. This report features information about Australian Aboriginal art.


I have recently come across an article that was written some time ago that covers the history of Australian Aboriginal tribal art and its emergence from the communities and stations of the outback onto the main stage of world fine art. The article, written by Carly Berwick, was published in It was based on a show of collector John Wilkerson’s 50 works of Australian Aboriginal art, which toured the US.

Entitled, Collecting the Dots, the article charts the history of Australian Aboriginal art in the commercial marketplace. In 1971, an English schoolteacher encouraged schoolchildren in the northwestern territory community of Papunya to paint on the walls of their concrete block homes.

In short order, the tribal elders became so excited about seeing their ancient dreamtime stories portrayed that they joined in. Soon, the paintings evolved to masonite boards and canvases. Palettes evolved from natural ochre, charcoal and chalk to acrylics and commercial colors.

The designs, which were not called “art” by the Aboriginal artists - there is no word for art in any Aboriginal language – began to merge into perceptions of modernism, although they were rooted in the timeless stories passed down from generation to generation telling of the Creation, or Dreamtime. Often called "Dreamings", the stories describe the arrival on the face of the earth by ancient ancestors, and of their interaction with the landscape and geography.

Captivated collectors, such as Wilkerson and Richard Kelton, began to acquire the works of the “mob”, as the desert painters were called. These works by the likes of Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula, Mick Namararri Tjapaltjarri, Shorty Lungkarla and Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri became the core of a show that began to tour the US. "Dreamings: The Art of Aboriginal Australia" was shown in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles in 1988.

Early paintings, for which as little as US$80 or less was paid, laid the groundwork for auction results which began to amaze the art world. In 2007, a work from 1977 by Clifford Possum has hammered down at US$2 million in a Sotheby’s Auction in Melbourne, Australia.

Granted that Clifford Possum had taken the genre to new concepts with that painting, “Warlugulong”, which portrayed the total of Possum’s Dreamings as a map seen from above in a huge canvas.

I encourage you to visit ArtNews Archives to read the entire story.

But first, a side trip to a tale of two collectors who were active in Australian Aboriginal art at about the same time. Susanne and I began our collection in the late 1970s, traveling to Alice Springs to acquire a few pieces. Then back again in the mid-90s, when we ventured back to Alice, up to Darwin and to the Yirrkala community at Nhulumbuy (Gove). We also revisited our former home in Adelaide where several Aboriginal resources were available. Our last trip to Australia was in 2001 (September, to be exact; a very memorable time). On that trip we visited Darwin again, the Tiwi Islands, Maningrida, Oenpelli, and down the Sturt Highway to Alice, Adelaide, then flying to Sydney.

But this is not about our travels. It is about our relationship with the art.

In the meantime we had moved to Chicago. About the time the “Dreamings: The Art of Aboriginal Australia” was touring the US, we moved to Fort Myers, Florida. We opened our gallery, Aboriginals: Art of the First Persons, on Sanibel Island. By the late 90s, we had two shows featuring works from our collection. One at the Museum of Fine Art in Owensboro, KY, and one at the Alliance for the Arts in Fort Myers, FL.

Little did we appreciate that we were in the vanguard of Australian Aboriginal art’s growing world-wide popularity. All we knew was that we had several paintings by outstanding Aboriginal artists, works that bring beauty and grace to our lives and home.

We include all the paintings, desert paintings and bark paintings and artifacts, on our web site at TribalWorks. We invite you to enjoy them with us.

Shown here are works (l) by Gabriella Possum, Clifford's daughter, & (r) Pansy Napangati.

Of possible additional interest is this video that discusses the care and storage of these valuable works of art.


PS: Shortly after Hurricane Charley smashed into Sanibel and Captiva Islands, we closed our Sanibel gallery, deciding to exhibit and sell exclusively online. Nothing was damaged in the storm; not us or any of the art. But we took it as a sign that it was time, after 16 years into a 15-year project, to do things differently.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Reprinting verbatim from SWAIA We greatly regret that we will miss this show as we at Aboriginals: Art of the First Person are great fans of Ira Lujan and Spooner. We have a few glass works by Ira, including this one that was made on commission from us. Please visit our websites at, and
Native Modern Art and Design Series Continues
with Photography and Glass

Who: Legends Santa Fe and the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA)
What: Native Modern: Art and Design Series. Paper and Glass
Where: Legends Gallery: 143 Lincoln Ave. Santa Fe, NM (505) 983-5639
When: Friday June 4, 2010 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
How Much: Free

The Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) and Legends Santa Fe is presenting the most ambitious exhibit in its Native Modern: Contemporary Native Art and Design Exhibit Series. Following the success of "Precious Metal" and "Against the Grain," the third installment of Native Modern "Paper and Glass" will push the definitions of Native art into unexpected places.

With established and award winning artists including,

* Will Wilson Photography

* Ira Lujan, Glass
* Robert Spooner Marcus, Glass
* Da-Ka-Xeen Mehner, Photography
* Larry McNeil, Photography
* Lillian Pitt, Glass

Paper and Glass promises to be the most talked about Native art gallery show in recent history. The use of glass and photography by Native artists as materials for their creative expression embodies a strikingly clear, dynamic and unclaimed energy. From the socio-political to the broader language of commodity and culture, Paper and Glass reveals a new bravado in Native self-representation.

The Native Modern series of exhibits debuts a new show every month at Legends Santa Fe. SWAIA and Legends Santa Fe will seek distinctive and previously untested ways of bringing Native artists together from across cultures, media and themes. The shows, like Indian Market, will be at once traditional and brimming with innovative ideas. The result will be the presentation of Native art unlike anything else in Santa Fe.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

This posting and the "borrowed" youtube video are presented by the proprietors of Aboriginals: Art of the First Person, who also host websites devoted to African tribal art, Australian Aboriginal art, Native American art, jewelry and pottery and art from other tribal traditions.

I stumbled across this essay on beauty and art by Philosopher Roger Scruton. It started me thinking about the role of "beauty" in tribal art.

When we look at tribal art, certainly authentic tribal art, we usually see what the artist perceived as "beautiful" within his or her culture.

I think of exquisitely carved African masks and sculpture, shimmering Native American jewelry, lovely Pueblo Pottery, Inuit carvings that please the eye and Australian Aboriginal art that may challenge Western concepts of beauty but represent attempts by those artists to create beauty in their daily life.

Moreover, given the cultural values of Aboriginal art, why would any artist want to reflect on it with shame or mockery?

So it strikes me that lovers of tribal art are privileged to apply their devotion to fields where art that mocks beauty is rare and seldom seen.

What do you think?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Upcoming Events In Native American Arts

This summary of impending events of interest to collectors and admirers of Native American Indian and other tribal art, is presented by Aboriginals: Art of the First Person and its allied web sites at, for fine, hand-made Native American jewelry,, for authentic Indian Pueblo pottery, for a mix of African, Australian, Arctic and Navajo folk art, and, offering outstanding Zuni, Cochiti, Navajo and San Felipe carvings by top fetish carvers.

May 30-31 - The annual Jemez Red Rocks Arts and Crafts Show at Jemez Pueblo - Call 505-834-7235

June 7 - Bonhams' Native American and Pre-columbian Art Auction - San Francisco - Call 415-861-7500

June 18-20 - Red Earth, America's Greatest Native American Cultural Festival - Oklahoma City - Call 405-427-5228

June 24 - Taos Pueblo San Juan Feast Day - Taos Pueblo - No cameras allowed.

June 25-27 - Cody Old West Show and Auction - Denver, CO - Call 307-587-9014

July 2-4 - Annual Hopi Festival of Arts and Culture - Museum of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff, AZ - Call 928-774-5213

July 9-11 - Taos Pueblo Pow Wow - Taos Pueblo, Taos, NM - Call 575-758-1028

July 24-25 - High Country Arts and Crafts Festival - Eagles Nest, NM - Call 574-377-2420

July 25-26 - Taos Pueblo Feast Days of Santiago and Santa Ana - Taos Pueblo - Taos, NM

August 6-8 - Navajo Festival of Arts and Culture - Museum of Northern Arizona - Flagstaff, AZ

August 6-8 - Great Southwestern Antiques, Indian and Old West Show - New Mexico Fairgrounds - Albuquerque, NM - Call 505-255-4054

August 12-14 - Annual Antique Ethnographic Art Show - Santa Fe Community Convention Center - Santa Fe, NM - Call 505-992-8929

August 12-16 - Annual Inter-Tribal Ceremonial - Red Rocks State Park - Gallup, NM - Call 505-863-3896

August 13-22 - Santa Fe Show-Objects of Art - Santa Fe, NM - Call 310-456-2120

August 14-15 - Allard's Best of Santa Fe Auction - Scottish rite Hall - Santa Fe, NM - Call 888-314-0343

August 15-17 - Annual Invitational Antique Indian Art Show - Santa Fe Community Convention Center - Santa Fe, NM - Call 505-992-8929

August 19-20 - Wheelwright Museum Annual Silent Auction and Live Auction - Santa Fe, NM

August 21-22 - Santa Fe Indian Market - Santa Fe, NM - On and around the Plaza

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Eunice Napangardi heads for Germany

This is a report from Aboriginals: Art of the First Person , proprietors of, which deals in tribal art, including Australian Aboriginal paintings.

Well, not the actual Eunice Napangardi. She unfortunately passed away about five years ago.

This Eunice Napangardi is a lovely Australian Aboriginal desert dot painting created by Eunice in about 1995. We have had it in our collection since 2000.

It was a portrayal of the Bush Banana dreaming, which Eunice's clan is entitled to paint.
Her paintings depict variations of the radiating vines of the bush banana plant, which grows in rock crevices close to the dry river beds. Known as Yuparli in the Aboriginal language of Eunice's Warlpiri home near Yuendumu, it is gathered by the Aboriginal women both as fruit and as medicine. Bush Banana is very important in Aboriginal culture because of its combined healing and nutritional qualities.

Bush Banana Dreaming (signifies the journey of Yuparli ancestors). In this respect, it is like many Aboriginal dreamings, which portray various aspects of Aboriginal history and mythology. Such paintings were originally done by men artists, on the ground at corroborees (or clan gatherings). As a result, they also were often referred to as sand paintings. Among their purposes was to share the culture with younger members of the clans as they grew and acquired knowledge.

Eunice was one of the first women painters, emerging shortly after an English art advisor in the desert convinced tribe members that it was okay to paint their stories. Even then, the deep meanings of the symbols, shapes and icons are not shared outside the clan, and often not outside the senior men.

Now, Bush Banana Dreaming by Eunice Napangardi has found a new home with a wise investor in Aboriginal art.

Eunice's paintings are totally unique. She demonstrates a great artistic flair and surety of touch in her ability to represent one dreaming.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Watch out for stolen concho belt

The Antique Tribal Art Dealers Association (ATADA), of which Aboriginals: Art of the First Person is a member, has issued an alert for a concho belt believed to have been stolen from a motel room in Gallup, NM.

The belt is a Zuni needlepoint turquoise concho belt by the Panteahs, using Sleeping Beauty turquoise. It was created in the 1970s.

At the time of the theft, the belt was owned by Pat Harrington.

For more information visit the theft alert page at

Keep your eyes open for the stolen item. It is important for anyone who encounters it to notify the authorities or Pat Harrington at 505-256-1023.

Possession of stolen property is a crime.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ten reasons to give your Mom authentic Native American jewelry for Mother’s Day

  1. She’s your Mother. Du-uhh.
  2. Better than a Mother’s Day Card. Are you kidding? What part of reason #1 did you not understand?
  3. Better than candy. Candy rots the teeth. Is that any way to treat your Mother? (Of course, they say chocolate is good for your heart. But, still…).
  4. Better than flowers. Flowers promote allergies. A week later, the flowers are gone; the sneezing lingers on.
  5. Like your Mother, it’s one of a kind. No two pieces of authentic hand-made Native American jewelry are identical.
  6. Like your Mother, Native American jewelry is filled with love. Cherished in the making, almost like a child.
  7. There are so many choices. Earrings, bracelets, necklaces, pins, pendants. There is bound to be something your Mother will wear with pride.
  8. There are so many beautiful materials. Silver, gold, turquoise, coral, shell, lapis, sugilite, malachite, mother of pearl, opal. Colors to match her favorite outfit.
  9. Prices are reasonable, especially considering the artistry, time and care that goes into the making. Even high-end pieces are good value.
  10. She is worth it. See reason #1.

Brought to you in blatant self-interest by the proprietors of

Happy Mother's Day to all.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

African tribal art collection goes to auction

Authentic African tribal art in a collection from a private collector in Ohio, will be offered at Dan Morphy Auctions on May 13-15, 2010, according to the web site,

The collection is comprised of items that were carved in Africa, according to art dealer and appraiser, Oumar Keinde. Keinde stated that the items in the collection are geared mostly for entry level buyers and those who seek African art for purposes of decor They range from between 1950 and the late 2oth century.

For more information , visit

Similar items are available from the collection of susanne and William Waites at Aboriginals: Art of the First Person's online gallery at

Mary Cain, Santa Clara potter passes

We are saddened to learn and report that Mary Cain , famed Santa Clara Pueblo potter, has passed away.

Notice was posted in the Alburquerque Journal on April 23, 2010.

Cain was the grandmother of Tammie Garcia and was part of a long, continuing and distinguished line of Santa Clara potters. She will be missed, but the beauty of work will be with us forever.

We have, from time to time, offered work done by Mary at our pottery link web site. At the present, we have none of her pots in our inventory. Mary was 95 years old.

Friday, April 23, 2010

ArtPark comments on the rise of Australian Aboriginal art

Here's a link to a blog article from ArtPark concerning the growing popularity of Australian aboriginal art,

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Institute of American Indian Arts to host the Spring Homecoming Powwow on May 8, 2010.

This is a periodic blog message by Aboriginals: Art of the First Person on the subject of tribal art. Aboriginals Gallery hosts web sites at Native JewelryLink,com, and

In what has become a tradition, the Spring Homecoming Powwow will be staged at the Institute of American Indian Art (IAIA) campus in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The public is invited to browse the powwow grounds, visit craft and art booths, and purchase items from Native food vendors. Spectacular Indian dances also will be performed, which are open to viewing by the public. There is no admission charge to attend.

Dancing starts at 11:00 am with the gourd dance, followed at noon by the Grand Entry, which will be repeated at 6:00 pm.

The head man and head lady are Ensley Aquilar and Elizabeth Nevaquaya, respectively, both IAIA students.

The northern drum will be Red Road Crossing. The southern drum will be Zotigh Singers.

If you would like more information, you may call 505-424-2339.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Aboriginals Gallery featured in Fort Myers News-Press

It was a very pleasant surprise when Evelyn Longa contacted us on the phone and said she had been tipped that our online tribal art gallery would be a good subject for her Artful Shopper column.

After a brief telephone conversation, during which we answered Ms. Longa's questions, she said we would be in the following Monday's edition of the (Fort Myers) News-Press. We were excited with anticipation. This kind of editorial coverage has a lot of credibility. While we are proud of what do and have done, that's just us. A third party reference is worth a lot.

Came Monday and there it was. Ms. Longa did a very fine job of reporting. Now we would like to share it with you. Here is a link to the article in the News-Press archives.

There also was a nice photo of Susanne and me, so I have scanned the article and am posting a jpg of it.
Since search engines can read jpg images, I am going to add some links to this text. For more information about our web business(es) visit for African, Arctic and Australian tribal art, for hand-made American Indian jewelry, for authentic Pueblo pottery and for Zuni Indian and other Native American carvings.

We hope you enjoy what you see and will comment with any question you may have.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Detroit Institute of Arts mounts a compelling African art show

This is one in a series of blog messages about tribal art, including African art, presented by Aboriginals: Art of the First Person, proprietors of a web site including African tribal art at

We learned of a new exhibit at the Detroit Institute of Arts, "
Through African Eyes", from a recent review in the Detroit Free Press. The show opens April 18, 2010.

The reviewer, Mark Stryker, comments on the sensitivity of the curator, Nii Quarcoopome, in presenting the character of African art as it was influenced by Western cultural and European colonialism. We recommend a read of the review to you, which is available by going to and searching for DIA.

He writes, "Check your preconceptions with your coat
. "Through African Eyes" examines the way African artists portrayed Europeans and cultural exchange from 1500 to the present, but the show dispenses with a monolithic view of Africa, noble-savage clichés and the politically correct drumbeat of the evil European "other." "

As lovers of African tribal art ourselves, we regret we will not be able to visit Detroit (my former hometown) to see the show. Fortunately, the Free Press includes a photo gallery displaying some of the most impressive objects. (Click on Photo Gallery).

An example is this: -"Chair with Four Felines (ChiefÕs Throne)." Unknown artist, Fon culture, Republic of Benin, before 1950; Wood. From the collection of Menil Collection
(Detroit Institute of Arts)"

If you are in or near Detroit, be sure to see this show before it closes Sunday, August 8, 2010. If you are unable to get there, check out the Detroit Free Press article and the information at

Aboriginals Gallery also hosts web sites at, featuring Zuni and other Native American carvings,, featuring hand-made Native American jewelry, and, featuring authentic Native American and Pueblo pottery. You are invited to visit one or all of them to learn more about the fascinating world of tribal art.