Hello Friends and Family,

Indian Market, 2021, Part 1

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

You may remember the Indian Market, held each year at the Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park in Phoenix. I have shared photos from previous years in past "Life After HP" issues. Due to COVID, it has been canceled for the last two years but reopened for 2021. I was asked to photograph the event again this year with an emphasis on crafts and entertainment.

The first artisan , Zachariah Ben, was creating a sand painting. Traditionally, these are created to assist healing, especially in the Navajo Tribe although the Hopi, Zuni, and Plains tribes also practice the art of sand painting and corresponding ceremonies that are integral to healing the sick. I was most interested to learn that he searches for stones exhibiting the colors he needs for his painting then grinds them himself to produce the sand you see in the various containers on his work surface.

Next we meet Kevin Quannie, a Hopi artist, who was carving kachinas from cottonwood roots. The kachinas depict ancestors, gods, and spirits. He also uses his carvings to cast bronze figures.

His tools were arrayed in front of him within easy reach for each step in the creation process.

I found it interesting that he was using a burning tool to form the three-dimensional figure in the wood
(rather than carving with a knife or chisel). Very creative.

Subsequent staining and painting or casting brought them to life.

This closeup exhibits the skill of the artist as he created fine textures of hair and feathers, etc. His work is amazing.

The next young artisan was creating bead jewelry as a guest at the booth of Melanie Sainz, a Ho-Chunk artist from Wisconsin.

This really takes a lot of patience as well as steady hands to do it well.

The result was not only bead jewelry but also ornaments for a Christmas tree — ornaments that look like miniature ears of corn. These were crafted by the booth owner, Melanie Sainz.

I found these tiny booties (also Ms. Sainz's work) with beautiful beadwork to be absolutely adorable.

The same booth had a stuffed porcupine display. Ms. Sainz often uses porcupine quills to form beads.

This object puzzled me for a moment — it looked like some kind of musical instrument.

The craftsman who made it is Anthony Belvado of the San Carlos Apache tribe. He explained that it is an Indian fiddle carved from an agave trunk. He even gave me a sample of the music that can be played on it — and it was lovely. I don't recall ever seeing or hearing one of these before — I guess I'm not too old to learn more about our Native American arts and crafts.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com