This weekend, nearly everyone I know is figuring out how to get to the best eclipse-watching location. Except for the estimated 150,000 people who will be enjoying themselves at the Santa Fe Indian Market, including Barbara Teller Ornelas and Lynda Teller Pete, authors of our forthcoming Navajo weaving book.
The Santa Fe Indian Market, produced by the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA), is the largest and most prestigious juried Native arts show in the world. It’s being held this week for the 96th year. Over a thousand Native artists from the U.S. and Canada will sell their artwork to collectors and gallery owners who want to buy directly from the artists. Many visitors to the Market are eager to learn about Native culture and Native art. Barbara and Lynda will be there selling their gorgeous, handwoven Navajo rugs, and Lynda will have a book signing for a book she’s just published with the University Press of Colorado Navajo Textiles: The Crane Collection at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science that she co-authored with Laurie D. Webster, Louise I. Stiver, and D. Y. Begay.
There’s a ton to do at the Market, like the crowd-favorite Native American Clothing Contest, and also a huge lineup of films in the Native Cinema Showcase, music, dance, and something I know Barbara and Lynda will be enjoying—roasted mutton and fry bread and a lot of other delicious food!
On the Market’s website (that you should visit to discover all the details and download the app), is an FAQ page. Here’s one item that stood out:
Q: I’ve never met a Native person before. Is there anything I should know?
A: To quote the title Native scholar Paul Chaat Smith’s book: “Everything You Know About Indians is Wrong.” The beauty of Indian Market is the cross-cultural dialogue that happens effortlessly. Unlike grade-school textbooks, museums or Hollywood movies, Indian Market is centered on Native self-representation. It is here that your perceptions and pre-conceived notions about Native people and culture will be changed forever.
I think any opportunity to participate in cross-cultural dialogue in a spirit of awareness and appreciation seems like a really good thing to do this weekend.
Enjoy–And safe travels on your way to the eclipse!