Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Native American Arts and Jewelry

This is what the people from yesterdays photo were shopping for. This is at the Palace of the Govenors Museum. The the artisans gather at 6 am in the morning for a lottery of who will be able to sell their wares on the plaza that day. The artist must create a piece of art in front of a panel of their peers to prove that they are the artist who created the jewelry or art. It is a huge tourist attraction here in Santa Fe.


Kim said...

This is a very interesting photo and commentary about the hoops the artists must jump through to gain access to a sales place. The Public Market at Pike Place has a system for determining who has what booth/area in the market, and even the places buskers may play. They all have to have permits and be approved.
Seattle Daily Photo

SantaFeKate said...

I think it's important to understand that this is not just some mindless bureaucracy at work here. The Native Americans have been selling jewelry on the Plaza for a 100 years or more. They are selling very fine crafted pieces at a good price (no middleman) and the restrictions on sales from artisans only (not from others who represent them) is part of what keeps the quality up. They are also required to use only certain gems, metal, etc. that are mined locally with a few exceptions (such as clasps). This means that the buyers know they are getting something authentic of good quality and the sellers know they are competing for sales against their peers--not against someone who's selling "Indian jewelry" made in China. It's worth noting that these artisans are often children/grandchildren in a family that's had a place on the Plaza for generations.