Friday, October 7, 2011

Come With Us To The Trading Post & Native American Art Galleries

Each year as it gets closer to the Anniversary of my Dad passing from Time into Eternity he is increasingly on my Heart & Mind... it has been many years, but there isn't a day goes by that I don't miss him and want to be able to get his sage advice & wisdom about things... about Life... about my Creations & techniques he would suggest.  Dad was Artistic in EVERYTHING he did, it came as Naturally as breathing to him & there was practically nothing he couldn't Create by hand even without training or a formal education, it was just his Gift... no brag, just fact. *Smiles* So, in Honor of my Dad's Heritage, today I am taking you with us to the Trading Post and Native American Art Galleries. I Hope these Images delight you as much as they delighted me...

Perhaps because of my Native American Ancestry I am partial to Native American Art, Music, Culture and Style... it resonates with me.  Alas, as a Youngster I was too lazy and disinterested to sit at the knee of my Dad, Grandmother & Aunts to learn what they yearned to teach me about Ancestral Art & Skills that had been imparted to them and passed down from Generation to Generation... and I deeply regret that.  Each of them were Master Artisans of Tribal Art and Crafts of every kind, many of which are becoming dying skills because so few still possess the knowledge and desire to carry the Traditions forward.  I particularly remember the Beading being exquisitely Beautiful & attractive to me... and yet so labor intensive and not having a strong Market to be profitable when I was Younger, so I didn't much see the point in spending countless hours learning or Creating it.  I wish I had appreciated it then for much deeper reasons than the Commercial aspect of the Art Forms or whether Tourists would buy it or fully appreciate it and the rich Culture behind it.  My Grandmother, Uncles & Aunts sold many of their Creations from the Reservation... each a Labor of Love of fine workmanship made with the excellence the Family always insisted upon... whether Traditional Tribal pieces or the Kitsch that was so popular with the Tourists and sold well.  And the Trading Posts are still, to this day, a means for many Native American Artisans to showcase their Talents, Skills, their amazing Creations and have a source of income.  I remember that alongside the roadways on the Rez you would often see many tables set up selling wares & Art directly from the Artisans to those passing through.  Many had traveled great distances to even get roadside because many regions were so remote... so that a Trading Post was always the place to see the greatest selection of Native American Craftsmanship accumulated in one spot to sell and to buy. 

My Dad and his Family made everything entirely by hand, often out of necessity while he was growing up... and this is what he taught me... the resourcefulness, patience & ease of Creating whatever your hands were set to working upon & not to worry about the end result, let it unfold & be one with it in the moments of Creation.  I still find it to be a way to feed my Soul as I create my Art entirely by Hand.  It is not the most expeditious way to Create, but for me, it connects me to something within my Spirit that is difficult to explain and I just couldn't experience using machines for the Creative process. It is soothing and I can get totally lost in my Art as my hands work in a way that just has a knowing about it without the benefit of formal training, I like to think my Dad and other Ancestors are Guiding me in the process from beyond the Veil.  When you create from the Heart, from the Soul, the end result is so much more satisfying and a part of  you is in every piece... I like that... it makes the process meaningful and I would Create and be an Artist whether any of my pieces sold or not or whether I could make a living at it.  There are some things you just cannot put a price on because the doing of it is much deeper than the profiting of it.  I have a deeper understanding of that now... I always enjoyed Creating, but now the Time spent doing it doesn't matter so much to me.  Which seems rather strange at this Season of Life when I'm closer to the End than the Beginning of the Circle Of Life! *LOL*   The older I become the more I revel in the time spent in the Creative process and care less about the amount of time spent on a piece... it can take as long as it needs to and I'm okay with that now. In our modern frantic paced society where instant gratification and production quotas are the norm I find it comforting to slow down and do things in a Timeless way that our Ancestors used to.  And though it would surely be more profitable to speed up production and do things another way... I have to wonder... at what cost?  And so I don't... and have stubbornly held onto the old ways of doing what I do at my snail's pace.  *Winks*  Fortunately there are even some who appreciate this and desire an entirely hand-made piece... even with the imperfections that machines might be able to improve upon in the construction of it.  And even with a long wait for the finished product where we might have been able to give birth of a child almost as soon. *LOL*  It is a Joy to pass along a piece to someone who appreciates it like that. 

I still enjoy occassionally visiting a Trading Post and Galleries that specialize in Native American Art and Fashions, I'm in my element there, I feel connected & it feels so familiar.  They're just as I remember them and I want my Grandchildren to experience and be exposed to this part of their Culture and Ancestry.  So that perhaps, they will also appreciate it and cherish the Native American pieces we own, made by various Tribal Artists and accumulated over many years.  And I Hope will be passed down from Generation to Generation to enjoy as much as we have. And maybe even carry on the Tradition and enjoyment of Creating, whatever Art Form speaks to and feeds their Soul... and painstakingly making each piece with their own hands, however long it takes.

Dawn... The Bohemian


  1. dawn Your post touching and beautiful What amazing beauty comes out of passion just by ones hands.Looks like you been getting out girl and seeing such wonderful beauty. hope your day is going good and inspiring. Im trying to talk my husband out of going to work for the big event at Sweet Salvage he he. I kinda would like to see the book signing there. He He... Chickie

  2. Very interesting post of your ancestry, and particular interest to many of us.

    Following your craft and passion, hand made beauty, that takes as long as it takes.

    This was fun.

  3. what a wonderful post and so many georgous, georgous things. The beadwork is amazing. How wonderful to have this great history in your background. (-:

  4. I love the American Indian arts too.I think my mum started me on it as she always loved it too.Have you read the book Sacagawea I read it many years ago and lloved it and must read it again Also a book called Ghost Fox by James Housten you have to read it,I have read it many times over the years.

    Was also wondering if you could find some sources for gyspy type printed fabrics like what you see in Magnolia Pearls van Wish I knew where to get it from.xx


A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl