Monday, December 26, 2005

Health Officials Asking Inuit To End A Tradition

Canadian health officials are asking Inuit to end the tradition of letting babies less than one year of age to sleep with their parents in bed. Doctors fear that the practice, which goes back to the Inuit's nomadic times, could be a risk factor for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The cause of SIDS is a mystery, but evidence indicates babies should not be put to sleep on their stomachs or sides. Today's Inuit beds and bed covers have changed into softer beds, making it easier for a baby to roll over on their stomachs or sides. "We would certainly advise that babies under one year have a crib of their own, maybe once in a while sleep with mom or dad," said Dr. Sandy MacDonald. Annie Buchan, a Pauktuutit Inuit raised in an Igloo, said babies never slept between their parents, and were often on a slightly raised platform. She believes if parents have a firm mattress and tight covers, the choice of whether or not to sleep with a baby should be a personal one. "I think it's up to individuals. You know it's an Inuit tradition, then a lot of mothers would like to sleep with their babies," she said. " ...if they take proper precautions, then it shouldn't be dangerous." Since 1999, over 25% of Nunavut's infants who died under under 1 year of age died from SIDS.

To get a view of Inuit tradition in their artwork, see Inuit Art.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Season's Greetings From Inuit & Native Art Bulletin

Just want to wish all readers of Inuit & Native Art Bulletin as well as visitors to the Free Spirit Gallery website a warm Season's Greetings and the best for 2006. There will be lots of new arrivals of both Inuit art and Northwest Native art coming in the New Year. The Inuit & Native Art Bulletin will of course be announcing these new arrivals as they come in. There will also be many interesting articles about the Inuit community as well as the Northwest Native American community in this only blog that covers both Inuit and Native art.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Political Opposition Party in Canada wants More Spending in Defense of Canadian Arctic

Stephen Harper, the leader of the Progressive Conservatives party in Canada, which is the current opposition political party, vows to spend more money in protecting Canada's sovereignty in the Arctic if he is elected the next prime minister of Canada. Harper says he will buy more icebreakers and set up a northern scanning system to protect Canada's Arctic. There have been nations whose ships and submarines have traveled through the Canadian Arctic waters without the permission of the Canadian government and Harper claims that this must stop.

To see some beautiful artwork from the north, see Arctic Art.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Native American Reservation on US Canada Border Hard To Patrol

Andrew Thomas is the Native American tribal police chief who patrols the St. Regis Mohawk reservation lands spanning the American and Canadian border. The Saint Lawrence River and several islands fall in between, making these 12 miles among America's most popular smuggling areas. As the U.S. tries harder to secure its borders, Thomas and his officers -- three per shift -- are America's first line of defense. For their efforts, they get $5,000 in homeland security money a year. "Pennies," Thomas says. At night, the St. Lawrence River hums with the sounds of smugglers slipping from one side of the reservation to the other in their stripped-down boats. They carry marijuana, Ecstasy, money, and human cargo. The Native American tribal police, too, have a boat, but not enough people to operate it. "An expensive paperweight in the parking lot," Thomas calls it. Derek Champagne is district attorney for Franklin County which surrounds the Native American reservation. Champagne prosecutes all county crimes, on the reservation and off. "I'm slowly pulling my hair out," he says. "If we're gonna have a border, it should really mean something." In a videotape of the St. Lawrence River filmed last winter, trucks drive freely over the now-frozen border while in other parts of St. Regis, land roads connect the U.S. and Canada with no checkpoints and no questions. Earlier this year, Champagne showed the tape to a state terrorism conference in Albany. "People said, 'That's our border?' " he says. Like other tribes that live along 260 or so miles of U.S. border with Canada and Mexico, the St. Regis can't get homeland security money directly from the U.S. government. Money comes once it's filtered through the states. A bill to give certain border tribes, including the St. Regis, direct money is pending in Congress.

At least nobody has to worry about smuggling Native American art since there's no need to. Native American art and Canadian art is duty free which makes shipping them across the US - Canadian border a snap. To see some great examples of such work, see Native American Art.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Christmas Deliveries of Inuit Art and Northwest Indian Art

By now, it would be too late to do shipments that would get to most destinations in time for Christmas. FedEx usually claims a 5 to 10 business day deliver. They do have an express option which guarantees delivery within 2 business days but the rate is very expensive at about $90 to $95 US. So any orders of Inuit art or Northwest Indian art sent in now will probably not make it to their destinations for Christmas. The delivery standards set out by FedEx (and Canada Post) were the reason why Free Spirit Gallery had previously suggested December 2 as the final date to get Inuit art and Northwest Indian art orders in for Christmas deliveries.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Two New Native American Wood Carvings of Bald Eagles In

As mentioned on the last post, more Native American wood carvings by Squamish Nation carver Darren Yelton were expected to arrive. The new coho salmon carving came in yesterday and we have two new bald eagles today. Like the salmon, these two bald eagles are beautifully stained and the detail is wonderful on pretty solid thick pieces of wood Darren used. One of them is shown below. Both have been added to Free Spirit Gallery's Northwest Native American Wood Carvings of Birds.

northwest native american wood carving eagle

Sunday, December 18, 2005

New Northwest Native American Art Carving of Coho Salmon

We have just added a new Northwest Native American art carving of a coho salmon by Darren Yelton. This magnificant piece is beautifully stained and the detail is just superb. More images and details of this Northwest Native American art wood carving is at Coho Salmon Carving. So far, this is the only salmon carving presently available at Free Spirit Gallery but we expect more after the New Year. We will be adding more carvings by Darren Yelton in the next few days though so check the New Recent Arrivals for them soon. Announcements of their arrivals will of course be posted in this Native Art Bulletin.

northwest native american art salmon carving

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Arctic Narwhal Whales Tusk Studied - Whale Sculpture Example

CBC News

Scientists in the United States have discovered the secret of the narwhal's long tusk, which they say is something unique in the animal world.

Researchers working in Canadian Arctic with the sea mammal say the tusk is actually a sensory probe delivering information to the animal in a distinctive way.

The narwhal's tusk, a 1.5-metre-long tooth emerging from the left side of the upper jaw, has long been a source of fascination. It's spiral nature led to it being marketed for princely sums in medieval Europe as a unicorn's horn.

In the past the tusk has been judged a weapon, a mating display and a fishing spear.

It turns out, the truth is stranger than the fiction.

Scientists studying the animal in Canada's Arctic have found that more than 10 million tiny nerve connections tunnel their way from the tusk's core to its outer surface.

These give the tusk an extremely sensitive surface, capable of detecting changes in water temperature, pressure and particle gradients, scientists say. It also allows the whales to detect water particles characteristic of the fish that constitute their diet.

And when Narwhals display 'tusking' behaviour, or rub tusks, they're likely experiencing a unique sensation, say scientists.

The researchers say there is no other animal with a comparable ability in nature, and certainly no comparable tooth with that kind of functional adaptation.

"Now that we know the sensory capabilities of the tusk, we can design new experiments to describe some of the unique and unexplained behaviours of this elusive and extraordinary whale," said Martin Nweeia of the Harvard School of Dental Medicine in Boston.

The research into the nature and function of the narwhal's tooth may also lead dental researchers to develop better materials for tooth restoration in humans, says Nweeia.

The research was partly funded by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans. The findings were presented Tuesday at the Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals in San Diego.

Narwhals are sometimes subjects of Inuit carvings. An example of an Inuit carving of a father and baby narwhal is shown below and this one is actually presently available in Free Spirit Gallery's whale sculptures section.

whale sculpture inuit narwhal

Friday, December 16, 2005

Another Inuit Muskox Carving Added - Musk Ox Muskoxen

The section for Free Spirit Gallery Inuit Carvings has been very fortunate to have Inuit muskox (musk ox, muskoxen) carvings by Billy Nutaraq of Inukjuak, Nunavik (northern Quebec Arctic). Billy makes some very unique looking muskox carvings. We have added yet another one of his interesting creations to our muskox collection. This new one is shown below and more details of it as well as other available muskox (musk ox, muskoxen) can be found at Muskox Carvings.

inuit muskox musk ox muskoxen carvings

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Inuit Polar Bear Sculpture Under $100 US - Wow!

Free Spirit Gallery has added a new Inuit polar bear sculpture by Jobie Echalook and this nice piece is actually priced under $100 US. It is not often that we can get bear sculptures for such an affordable price. This polar bear carving is shown below and there are more photos of it at Echalook Bear Sculpture.

There are some other nice Inuit sculptures as well as Northwest Native American carvings available at the Under $100 US section.

inuit polar bear sculpture

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Inuit Art Stone Sculptures By Women Too

Inuit carving is not just the domain of men. There are some pretty talented women up north who make some impressive Inuit art stone sculptures as well. One fine example is Mary Qinuajuak of Akulivik in Nunavik (Arctic Quebec). She has produced a really interesting piece featuring four Arctic Char fishes swirling around and Free Spirit Gallery is proud to announce that it is available from our website. Below is a photo of this unique Inuit art stone sculpture. To see more photos and details of this piece as well as others, go to Inuit stone sculptures.

inuit art stone sculpture

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Shipping 6 Days Per Week from Inuit Art Gallery in Canada

Just to let you all know, the Free Spirit Inuit Art Gallery in Canada is shipping 6 days per week this month in order to get shipments out to our customers as fast as possible (and affordable) since this is the rush holiday buying season. We are shipping from Montreal, Canada. If buyers are located relatively close, we can get Inuit art and Northwest Indian art out to you within a few days. For our customers in the west coast or down south, FedEx claims an 8 business day delivery but given the higher volumes going through their system, I would give it 10 business days just in case. So for clients located further out, I would strongly suggest getting in your orders for any Inuit art or Northwest Indian art in as soon as possible. We will process and pack items as soon as orders come in. We will try to get the shipments out the very next day. Orders that some in during the morning (eastern standard time) will likely go out that same afternoon.

There's still lots of nice choices in our Inuit art gallery and Northwest Indian art gallery.

Monday, December 12, 2005

More Gary Baker Salmon Carvings and Killer Whale Carvings Coming

For those of you who like the shots of the salmon carvings and killer whale carvings by Gary Baker, there's some good news. This master west coast first nation art carver from North Vancouver is presently working hard to make more carvings for Free Spirit Gallery. They should be available sometime after New Year so if you have been waiting to get one of these great carvings, please check in January. They will be coming soon!

west coast first nation art carver gary baker whale carving

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Discrimination Against Canadian First Nations People

The United Nations Human Rights Committee has called Canada to immediately repeakl Section 67 of its Canadian Human Rights Act. The Committee says Section 67 excludes some Canadian First Nations people from protection under the Act and is therefore discrimination. As it stands now, Section 67 allows discrimination as long as it can be justified under the Indian Act in Canada. The Committee is also concerned that discriminatory effects of reserve memberships for some Canadian Aboriginal women and their children have not been remedied. They also pointed to the issue of matrimonial real property on reserve lands which has not been properly addressed.

See for more details of Section 67.

See Free Spirit Gallery's website for magnificent Canadian First Nations Art.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Only Small Number of Canadian Aboriginal Lawsuits Settled

So far, 14,796 lawsuits have been filed by former residential school students who claim abuse or neglect in Canada's past residential school system. The vast majority of these former students are of Canadian aboriginal descent. This includes both Inuit and other Native Canadians. Only 2,793 of these claims by the Canadian aboriginals have been settled. Last year Canada spent $70,000,000 to pay lawyers, researchers and bureaucrats handling the cases, but only $18,000,000 in compensation costs to plaintiffs in comparison. With plaintiff's legal liabilities estimated from $3-$5 billion, the related operating and legal costs could reach $20,000,000,000 by the time all claims have been settled. This is indeed another unfortunate consequence of the abusive history the Canadian aboriginal groups have had to experience. Hopefully, things will be corrected in time so that Canadian aboriginal people will feel as equals as with any other Canadians.

The Canadian Natives have a lot to be proud of including their artwork. For examples of nice Canadian Native art, see Aboriginal Art - Canada.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Able to Get Inuit Dolls But Most Must Stay in Canada

I now have a source of nice Inuit dolls made by various Inuit women in Cape Dorset. However, the vast majority of these Inuit dolls have some sealskin as part of the materials. Therefore, I am not able to ship most of these dolls to the US. This is because of the strict international restrictions on exporting and importing items with marine mammal parts - see Export of Inuit Art. This is a shame because there is a good sized doll collector market in the US and they can't have access to these dolls. I have chosen not to stock these Inuit dolls as a result. However, upon request I could check my source at any time to see if they have the odd doll that doesn't have any seal skin. I did this for a customer in Idaho who is a big doll collector and was able to get one for her. Of course, I could always get access to these Inuit dolls for my Canadian customers.

I told my source to spread the word back to the Inuit doll makers that they should stop using seal skin on their artwork if they wish to get their dolls sold outside Canada, particularly the US which is potentially their largest market. We'll see if they make any changes in the future. If they don't, they are really limiting themselves in regards to Inuit arts and crafts sales.

Most of Free Spirit Gallery's Inuit Art does not contain any marine mammal parts and therefore are exportable worldwide.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Inuit Art For Sale

I have reduced prices on about 15 different Inuit art pieces including sculptures and also a print from Holman. Price reductions of up to $100 US are on some of these items, including three polar bear carvings. Two of these nice sized bears are actually priced at under $200 US now. This is to facilitate the holiday buying season. Inuit art for sale at very good prices currently now at Free Spirit Gallery. I wish to clear some of these pieces to make way for some new arrivals in the New Year.

Monday, December 05, 2005

New Coast Salish Art Carvings Added

Two more new coast Salish art carvings have been added to the Free Spirit Gallery website. The first is a chief head carving by Cody Mathias and is attractively priced under $100 US. The second is a unique curved carving of a raven by Doran Lewis. This coast Salish carving was actually carved from a warped piece of wood that Doran didn't want to waste. He used his ingenuity and made the warp a part of the artwork. The result is that the raven's foot sticks out a bit. Both of these new Coast Salish art carvings are listed in the New Arrivals where there are direct links to each piece. One shot of the raven is shown below.

coast salish art carving raven

Nunavut Art and Nunavik Art

Sometimes I'm asked to explain the difference between Nunavut and Nunavik. Both are areas in the Canadian Arctic. Nunavut is Canada's newest territory and was created in 1999 by dividing up the Northwest Territories. Iqaluit on Baffin Island is the capital of Nunavut. Nunavut art comes from such Inuit communities as Iqaluit, Cape Dorset, Pangnirtung and Rankin Inlet.

Nunavik is the northern part of Quebec province that is considered Arctic region. Like Nunavut, Nunavik has an active supply of Inuit carvers. Nunavik art comes from such Inuit communities as Akulivik, Inukjuak and Puvirnituk.

More detailed maps showing the Canadian Arctic north including Nunavut and Nunavik as well as many Inuit communities can be found at Inuit Art Region.

For beautiful pieces of both Nunavut art and Nunavik art can be found at Free Spirit Inuit Gallery.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Inuit Art Loon Bird Carving Added

A beautiful loon bird carving was added to the Inuit art collection at Free Spirit Gallery. This magnificent bird carving has very nice detail on the tail feathers and the neck is just breath taking. Saima Alayco of Akulivik was the carver of this piece. See more details in the Other Inuit Carvings category of Free Spirit Gallery.

All new pieces are listed in the New Arrivals page.

inuit art bird carving

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Online Arctic Art Gallery Adds More Pieces

Online Arctic art gallery Free Spirit has added more Inuit art work. A new Inuit inukshuk by Eli Kakutuk and another musk oxen carving by Billy Nutaraq who specializes in very unique looking musk oxens have arrived. A very attractive feature of these two new Arctic art pieces is that the inukshuk is actually priced below $100 US while the musk oxen is just a bit over making both of these very affordable original Inuit art. See these pieces at New Arrivals.

musk oxen carving

Alaska Native American Yellow Pages Planned

By March 2006, CBG USA hopes to publish a telephone directory of Alaska Native American Yellow Pages. Publisher Jim Cocallas plans a comprehensive listing of Alaska Native corporations and businesses. The Native American directory will look more like a magazine than a traditional phonebook, with as many as 100 glossy pages. The Alaskan directory will also include information about Alaska's 13 regional corporations, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, doing business with Alaska Natives, emergency and social services, education, health care, and other topic. Once published, over 25,000 free copies will be given to Alaska Native corporations, businesses, organizations, and city, state and federal offices. Advance subscriptions will be sold for $35, with half of the proceeds donated to Alaskan Native American scholarships and nonprofit organizations. "It's going to be a long-term project," Cocallas said. "It's going to be around for years to come."

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Canadian Indian Art To Be Taught at New Centre

There are plans to transform a Vancouver neighborhood full of abandoned buildings and parking lots into a $30,000,000 centre to benefit the area's young urban Canadian native Indian population. By 2008, the center will provide a place to learn traditional Canadian Indian art skills such as carving, dancing and visual arts. It will also be a place for young native Canadian Indians to play basketball, access child care, or look for a job or somewhere to live. "It will be the first of its kind in North America," said Melanie Mark, president of the Urban Native Youth Association. This new centre will be 65,000 square feet and three stories high. It will focus upon current programs while building a host of new cultural, spiritual, educational and recreational options. Currently, Vancouver is home to 15,000 Canadian aboriginal people who represent a variety of bands. The population of young native Canadian Indians under 29 years of age continues to increase.

To see some of the cultural artwork of the aboriginal people in Vancouver, see Canadian Indian Art.

New Eskimo Baskets and Inuit Baskets Category

Free Spirit Gallery has added a new category for Eskimo baskets and Inuit baskets. These are hand made baskets from the Arctic north. There is presently one Eskimo basket in stock right now at the gallery website. This is a beautiful Inuit basket with a bird head carving on the lid. It was made of the native lime grass found in the Inukjuak area of Nunavik (Arctic Quebec). Most of the Inuit baskets come from this area of the Arctic. Photos and details of this new arrival is at Inuit Eskimo Baskets

Program to Help Preserve West Coast Indian Languages

The West Coast Indian Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla say only 44 elders among its 2,525 tribal members still fluently speak their three native languages: Cayuse, Nez Perce and Walla Walla. To help preserve those languages, the tribe has received $585,000 in grants to create language classes on reservation schools and master-apprentice teams for elders to pass on the language to others. At the end of three years, apprentices may become licensed as language teachers. "It's been the best year of my life, the most enlightened," said apprentice Linda Sampson. "It's opened my eyes." Sampson hopes the program will spark renewed interest in learning West Coast Indian tribal languages, something she believes is crucial. "Every tribe has the same goal -- keeping their language going," she said. "You can preserve it, but you've got to transfer it to your kids."

For another aspect of the tribal culture, see West Coast Indian Carvings.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

North West Native American Coastal Tribe Whaling Victory

By a 21-6 vote, the U.S. House Resources Committee in Washington D.C. has passed a measure urging the Bush administration to uphold the 1855 Treaty of Neah Bay. The treaty promised the North West Native American Coastal tribe the Makah, the right to conduct whaling along with hunting and fishing at their usual and accustomed places in the Pacific North West region. Makah Tribal Chairman Ben Johnson, Jr. was elated. "We won a big one today," he said. "They made my day when that happened. They recognized our treaty -- again. We've had that treaty since 1855." Chuck Owens, an anti-whaling activist, noted that the Committee passed the non-binding measure without allowing debate as he said, "The Republican committee would not allow Jay Inslee to explain to everybody the issue. That's why it passed. There was no argument on this issue." This vote is considered a big victory for the North West Native American people.

For a glimpse at some beautiful authentic native artwork from the North West, see North West Native American Coastal Art.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Current List of Northwest Native American Art Articles

Here is the latest list of Northwest Native American Art articles at the Free Spirit Gallery website. These are direct links to these informative articles. Many of these articles have full color images of actual and authentic Northwest Native American art pieces.

Introduction To Northwest Native Art - Article with photos of Northwest Indian art carvers

The Basic Elements of Northwest Indian Art - A more detailed look at Northwest Indian art

The Colors of Northwest Indian Art - The color schemes used by Northwest Native artists

The Shapes Used in Northwest Indian Art - Illustrating ovoids, U-forms and more

The Design of Northwest Native Art Animal Body Parts - Eyes, ears, noses, arms and more

Northwest Coast Native Art Region - Maps showing Northwest Native geographical region

Northwest Indian Art Carver Gary Baker - A profile of master carver Gary 'Boo Boo' Baker

Northwest Native Art Carver Peter Charlie - A profile of master carver Peter Charlie

Northwest Coast Native Art Carver Cody Mathias - A profile of master carver Cody Mathia

Northwest Coast Indian Art Carver Paul Joseph - A profile of master carver Paul Joseph

Native American Art Authenticity - Real works of Native American art compared to fakes

Northwest Coast Art At Vancouver International Airport - Examples of airport's art decor

West Coast Art Totem Poles - History and use of Northwest Indian totem poles

West Coast Indian Art Tribal Masks - History, types and functions of Northwest masks

Native American Art Thunderbird - One of the most popular Native American icons

The Native American Art Bear - A symbol of strength and friendship

The Eagle In Native American Indian Art - A universally respected symbol of power

The Orca Killer Whale In Pacific Northwest Coast Art - Loved by millions around the world

West Coast Native Art On Canadian Coins - Canadian currency designed by Native artists

Pacific Northwest Native Canadian Art Raven - Known to many as the 'trickster'

Interior Decorating & Home Decor with Native American Indian Art - Bringing home nature

Pacific Coast North West Indian Art on Canada Bank Note - Currency with First Nation art

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Native American Photo Exhibit in Washington State

Here's some news about a Native American photo exhibit at the Washington State Capital Museum currently on now through to April 1 of 2006.

The Washington State Capital Museum presents

Faces from the Land: A Photographic Journey through Native America By Ben and Linda Marra

Olympia, WA--In commemoration of the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the Washington State Capital Museum is honored to present Faces from the Land: A Photographic Journey through Native America, by Ben and Linda Marra, on view October 11, 2005 through April 1, 2006.

In 1988, Seattle photographer, Ben Marra and his wife, Linda, set out to document powwows and the shared cultural qualities that bind together the many nations of Native America. Powwows are an integral part of Native American life, offering Native Americans the opportunity to gather and celebrate their spiritual connections to their ancestors, the earth, community and traditions through drum, song and dance. Faces from the Land focuses on many of the Native American cultures that Lewis and Clark encountered during their arduous 1803 -1806 expedition, including Sioux, Lemhi Shoshone and Nez Perce. A photograph of Sacajawea's great, great, great niece, Rose Ann Abrahamson, is included in the exhibit.

The 37 large color print portraits of Native Americans are accompanied by personal narratives written by the subjects describing the tribal significance of their regalia and dance. These striking images along with their text vividly detail the magic of the powwow, while also allowing the viewer the opportunity to see the juxtaposition of ancient tradition and modern culture.

Ben Marra has been a commercial photographer in Seattle since 1973, working with architectural, industrial, and corporate clients. Dedicated to using his photographs to strengthen and perpetuate an appreciation for Native American culture, Ben Marra's work has been featured in numerous museums, galleries and national magazines, and was recently included in Handbook of North American Indians, published by the Smithsonian Institution. Their book, PowwowŠImages along the Red Road, (Abrams), features 105 color photographs representing more than sixty tribes and nations. Two yearly calendars are also published by Avalanche Publishing.


What: Faces from the Land: A Photographic Journey through Native America

Who: Seattle Documentary Photographers Ben and Linda Marra

When: October 11, 2005 - April 1, 2006

Where: Washington State Capital Museum, 211 21st Avenue S.W., Olympia, WA

Opening Reception: Sunday, October 16, 2005; 2 - 5 p.m. Free and open to the public.

Upcoming Programs: Join Ben and Linda Marra for a lecture and book signing on Wednesday, November 9, 2005 at 7:00 p.m. as they discuss Faces from the Land. Admission to the museum and program are free that evening.

More Information: 360-753-2580,

The State Capital Museum is located in Olympia six blocks south of the Capitol Building at 211 21st Avenue S.W. in the historic Lord Mansion. The State Capital Museum is a division of the Washington State Historical Society, which presents exhibits, programs, and events that bring to life the stories of Washington's history.

To contact Ben Marra Studios: 206-729-2456,

For Native American art at 20 to 50% off typical retail prices, see Free Spirit Gallery Native American Art.

Friday, November 25, 2005

West Coast First Nation Art On Canada Bank Note

As part of a redesigned series of Canada bank notes, a $20 bill was introduced that features west coast First Nation art. There are four images by internationally reqcognized west coast First Nations artist Bill Reid. Canadian First Nations art has been used before on several Canadian coins and is now finally on some paper currency as well. See this Canada bank note at North West Indian Art Bank Note.

To see the Canadian coins with West Coast First Nation art, see Native Art Coins.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Inuit Throat Song and First Nations Dance Part of Tribute to Canadian Aboriginal Vets

Canadian war veterans recently visited France to honor the aboriginal contribution from Canada to the First and Second World Wars. Private Leo Goulet, a Metis who lives on the Atikameg First Nation, and George Horse of the Thunder Child First Nation, recalled Juno Beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944. "So many things happened to me when we landed 61 years ago," the 81-year-old Goulet said as he stood on the same shores watching the calm gentle waves, sand, and seaweed. "There were dead soldiers here and there, some floating, some dry. It's all like a big dream - or nightmare I should say." "It was tough," said Horse, 86. "We were wide open, the Jerries were up on the hill firing at us, but we just kept going ahead." In a separate service at Beny-Sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery, a Canadian First Nations honour dance, Metis fiddle lament, and Inuit throat song paid tribute to the heroic Canadian aboriginal veterans.

For information on First Nations and Inuit art from Canada, see Canadian Aboriginal Art.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

New North West Native American Coastal Art Carvings

We have received several new North West Native American Coastal Art carvings this past weekend and they have just been posted on the Free Spirit Gallery website. These include some marvelous carvings by such master carvers as Cody Mathias, Paul Joseph and Albert Joseph. This new set of North West Native American Coastal art carvings include a loon, beaver, chiefs and ravens. There's also a rare raven carving with wings spread out. There's a nice complex carving with an eagle, bear and salmon all in one piece. Part of this particular carving is shown below. To see the rest of these new arrivals as well as existing pieces, see North West Native American Coastal Art Carvings. A list of new artwork is at New Arrivals.

north west native american coastal art carving

Monday, November 21, 2005

New Northwest Coast Indian Art Mask - Native American Artwork Arrival

A new Northwest Coast Indian art mask by Cody Mathias has just arrived at Free Spirit Gallery. This is a Wild Man mask and is an absolutely stunning piece of Native American artwork. This mask features bark for hair and also bird feathers on the head. See more details and photos at Northwest Coast Indian Art Masks.

northwest coast indian art mask carving native american artwork

Saturday, November 19, 2005

New Inuit Seal Carvings Have Arrived

Three new Inuit seal carvings have arrived at Free Spirit Gallery. All of these Inuit carvings are under $100 US. Two of these Inuit seal carvings are by Adamie Niviaxie of Inukjuak. See all three of these new pieces at Inuit Seal Carvings. A listing of all recent arrivals of Inuit Art at Free Spirit Gallery can be seen at Inuit Art New Arrivals.

inuit seal carving

Monday, November 14, 2005

Seals Sold Out For Now At Arctic Art Gallery

All the seal carvings have been sold out for now at the Arctic art gallery Free Spirit Gallery. But there will likely be new arrivals of Arctic art seals at the end of this week. The new seal carvings should be posted on the Free Spirit Arctic Art website on the weekend. Images of the last seal carving sold is still on the website for this week to give visitors an idea of seal Arctic art carvings.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

North West Indian Art Salmons

The salmon fish has always been important to the North West Indian people. This is reflected in their North West Indian art where they do beautiful carvings of salmons. Some great examples are at North West Indian Art Salmon Carvings.

There has also been some controversial moments in history and politics involving the North West Indian people, salmon and the US government. It's been 60 years since Billy Frank's first arrest for catching salmon on the Nisqually River. He was 14 and doing what his father, his grandfather and generations of North West Indian Nisqually tribal members had done for centuries. Since then, Frank has been fighting for both his people and the salmon. "In my estimation, he's the functional equivalent of Martin Luther King, Jr. for African-American people, or Cesar Chavez for Hispanic people," said David Nicandri, director of the Washington State History Museum. The struggle went on for years as North West Indian tribes fought for their traditional fishing rights guaranteed in their treaties.

In 1974, U.S. District Judge George Boldt affirmed the nation's obligation to honor the treaties, and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Boldt five years later. "One of [Frank's] great lines is about it taking so many talents and pooling of efforts to get things done," Nicandri said." He'll say, 'You need the policy people, the scientists -- and you need the getting- arrested guy, and I was the getting-arrested guy.’" Today, Billy Frank is chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, a coalition of salmon-treaty tribes. "So here we are today, still trying to implement the Boldt decision, still trying to implement the recovery of salmon," Frank said.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Current List of Eskimo Inuit Northern Art Information Articles

Here's a current list of Eskimo Inuit northern art information articles available. These articles cover different aspects of Eskimo Inuit and northern art in general as well as travel to the Canadian Arctic region. Some of these articles on northern art have full color photos of excellent Eskimo Inuit artwork.

Materials Used in Inuit Sculpture - Different types of stone and materials in Inuit art

Canadian Arctic Region of Inuit Northern Art - Maps showing where Inuit art originates

The Different Styles of Inuit Sculpture - Differing styles of Inuit art across the Arctic

Eskimo Inuit Northern Art Authenticity - Real works of Eskimo Inuit art compared to imitation fakes

The Prices of Inuit Art - Characteristics of Inuit art which determine market prices

Inuit Art As Investments - Developments which affect Inuit art as investments

Interior Decorating and Home Decor with northern Inuit Art - Arctic art for today's home styles

The Evolution of Contemporary Arctic Art Carvings - History of modern Inuit art carvings

The Birth of Inuit Art Prints - Describing how James Houston taught the Inuit printmaking

Prehistoric Eskimo Carvings - Tracing early Eskimo art to prehistoric ages

Inuit Eskimo Art Sculptures of Arctic Polar Bears - Describes the different types of bears

Export of Inuit Sculpture Containing Whalebone or Ivory - Restrictions of export and import

Value of Older Inuit Northern Art and Eskimo Sculpture - Investigate value and artists of older pieces

The Inuit Inukshuk - History, purpose and significance of the inukshuk

A Trip To Iqaluit In Nunavut, A Canadian Arctic City - Travel report to Nunavut's capital

Throat Singing In Inuit Culture - The revival of this old traditional Inuit activity

Inuit Drum Dancing Of The Arctic - Traditional Inuit drum dancing and music

Arctic Inuit Art On Canadian Coins - Canadian currency featuring Inuit art designs

The Dancing Bears of Inuit Art - The ever popular dancing bear Inuit carvings

Traveling to the Canadian Arctic and Native Inuit Communities - Air travel to the north

See Eskimo Inuit Northern Art for examples of beauiful artwork from the Arctic.

Monday, November 07, 2005

New Northwest Native American Carving Art Expected

I have ordered more Northwest Native American carving artwork from master carvers Cody Mathias and Paul Joseph, both of Squamish Nation. Upon speaking to both Cody and Paul, there should be some new Northwest Native American carvings of eagles, beavers, chiefs and ravens. I'm also hoping to get some more killer whale carvings as well. Cody has also made a new Northwest Native American art mask for me. I hope to receive all this new artwork by the week of November 21 and will work very quickly to get them online at Free Spirit Gallery. I will of course announce their arrival as soon as they get in.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Canadian Arctic Map

A previous post announced the new article about traveling to the Canadian Arctic region and native Inuit communities. This is to remind everyone that there's a nice Arctic map of northern Canada in the same website. This map show many of the Inuit communities in the Arctic region which includes Nunavut, Nunavik (northern Quebec Arctic), northern parts of Labrador and Northwest Territories. See Canadian Arctic Map of Inuit Art Communities.

Friday, November 04, 2005

New Inuit Stone Sculpture of Walrus

Here's a new Inuit stone sculpture of a nice walrus that just arrived here at Free Spirit Gallery. It was carved by Noah of Iqaluit, Nunavut and measures a nice 6 1/2 inches long. More details and images are at new Walrus Inuit Stone Sculpture

To see all the walruses, see Walrus Inuit Carvings

walrus inuit stone sculpture

Traveling to the Canadian Arctic and Native Inuit Communities

There is more travel to the Canadian Arctic and the various native Inuit communities up north these days due to both promotion of northern tourism and business from the creation of the Nunavut goverment. Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut is growing since many Inuit are migrating there from other native Inuit communities for job opportunities. However, travel to the Arctic region from the rest of Canada is still quite expensive, especially the flights. If one is willing to pay for the price of flights to the Arctic, there are some Canadian airlines that do service the north on a regular basis. See Traveling to the Canadian Arctic and Native Inuit Communities for much more details.

To see native Inuit artwork from the Arctic, see Free Spirit Gallery Inuit Arts and Crafts.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Rare Inuit Artwork of Inukshuk with Walrus Arrived

We have just acquired a rare piece of Inuit artwork which is an inukshuk with a walrus head on the top. This very unique Inuit carving was made by Mark Tertiluk, one of the premier inukshuk carvers in the Canadian Arctic. To see more details of this wonderful piece of Inuit artwork, see Inuit Inukshuk with Walrus.

inuit artwork inukshuk carving

Native Inuit Inukshuk Used as part of Canada's Sovereignty

Here's is an article from the National Post newspaper about Canada marking its sovereignty in the Arctic.

Standing on guard, with a pile of rocks
Exercise Frozen Beaver marked Hans Island as ours

Adrian Humphreys
National Post

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Hans Island, the tiny Arctic island at the centre of Canada's war of words with Denmark over its sovereignty, is so barren that even the rocks used by soldiers to erect an Inukshuk needed to be flown in by helicopter, military documents show.

When a small contingent of the Canadian Forces landed on the island in July on a sovereignty patrol, they also erected a 12-foot pole topped by a metal Canadian flag that had been specially designed and built at a cost of almost $2,000.

Details of the secret three-hour mission -- code-named Exercise Frozen Beaver -- are contained in internal military documents and photographs obtained by the National Post.

The visit on July 13 was followed by a second unannounced visit, one that brought Bill Graham, the Minister of National Defence, to the island on July 20 to pose for photographs in front of the flag.

The erection of the Inukshuk, a traditional Inuit landmark built by piling stones, is a curiosity.

The military claims there was nothing special about placing an Inukshuk on the island, even one that is hastily caulked together and fixed with an engraved plaque declaring: "O Canada, We Stand On Guard For Thee."

"While on Hans Island, CF personnel erected a flag pole and raised the Canadian flag. They also built an Inukshuk, which is normally done on these types of Ranger patrols," says the Canadian Forces Media Lines on the visit. (Media lines are officially prepared cue cards used by officials when speaking with reporters.)

However, Inukshuks have not been a part of previous sovereignty patrols and there appear to be no records of other Inukshuks being constructed on earlier missions.

The engraved plaque bears the date July 12, 2005, but officials say the mission took place July 13. Presumably weather delayed arrival by a day.

The Inukshuk is unusual for other reasons as well.

The first item on the Frozen Beaver mission timetable was for Rangers to "select rocks for Inukshuk in Eureka and transport to site." Eureka is a northern weather station.

It estimates the rocks would weigh about 300 pounds, a serious matter for delicate helicopter flights in the Arctic: "Air support load limitation a key factor," the document cautions.

Three soldiers were to spend an hour collecting rocks of an appropriate size and shape.

After flying from Eureka to Hans Island, an hour was set aside for two Canadian Rangers to erect the Inukshuk while two others filled the metal base of the flag pole with stones to weigh it down. The Rangers are a largely aboriginal military unit.

The flag-raising was to take five members of the ground mission 30 minutes, with one person slipping away near the end to capture it on film.

After 15 minutes of packing and cleanup, the soldiers again took to the air in their helicopter, making a final pass of the island to take pictures of the flag and Inukshuk before leaving.

Like the Inukshuk, the flag left behind is unique, designed for the mission and constructed and assembled in secrecy.

The idea was to erect a flag that would always be unfurled, similar to the U.S. flags left behind on the moon. Making it from metal was seen as a way of ensuring it did not deteriorate in the high winds.

Photos of the visit show Hans Island to be a desolate rock devoid of foliage.

A small wooden and windowless hut containing a cot, portable stove, cooking pots, maps and other supplies was found there.

The hut is marked on the outside with the words "Tulugaq '88."

Tulugaq is the name of a Danish Navy arctic patrol cutter. In 1988, the ship took a Danish crew to Hans Island. Danish warships have made almost annual stops on the island, which they claim as their sovereign territory, a claim contested by Canada.

Denmark suspended a planned visit to Hans Island by HDMS Tulugaq this summer to avoid additional diplomatic tensions.

Also photographed on the island was a wooden outhouse, likely one of the world's most northerly outdoor toilets. It lies on its side, housing planks of wood. Nearby, what appears to be 12 rusting oil drums and six gas cylinders lie on the ground.

The Canadian military visits may have caught the Danes off guard, but they have since checked on the Canadian monuments and found the metal flag design was not effective.

Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moller told a Danish government committee shortly after Exercise Frozen Beaver that the Canadian flag had already been flattened by harsh winds.

"How do I know that? We're monitoring the island, of course. It's a part of Danish territory," he was quoted as saying.


POLE: $1,500

Specially designed and built to detach into three sections, allowing it to fit in a helicopter before assembly on Hans Island. It is bolted into a square base of thick steel and, when erect, stands about four metres high. One hour was set aside for two soldiers to assemble the pole and flag on the island. It took another hour for three soldiers to load the base with stones to weigh it down. Another 30 minutes were scheduled to raise the flag slowly while being photographed. Made by a Yellowknife welding company for $1,500.

FLAG : $401.56

Made of a metal sheet 1/8-inch thick, 48 inches long and 24 inches high, according to schematic diagrams obtained by the Post. The Maple Leaf image appears on both sides. Flag stencil cost $401.56.


Documents refer only to five soldiers being involved in the ground operation -- two Rangers, a Ranger commander, a mission commander and a photo technician. Some photos, however, show at least eight people at the flag raising. Presumably the helicopter crew accounts for the discrepancy.


Engraved in English, French and Inuktitut, the plaque was made by a Yellowknife jeweller for $98. It declares: "Erected by members of CFNA HQ, 1 CRPG, 440 and 438 Sqns, [the four military units involved in 'Exercise Frozen Beaver'] on July 12, 2005; 'O Canada, We Stand on Guard for Thee.' " The mission actually took place on July 13.


Built by two members of the Canadian Rangers, a largely aboriginal military unit, from stones flown to the island. One hour was set aside for its construction; another hour for three Rangers to first hunt for rocks in Eureka.


Hans Island, located between Canada's Ellesmere Island and Greenland, which is Danish, is claimed as sovereign territory by both nations. The barren rock is about one kilometre in diameter, with a cliff on its south end. Negotiations over its sovereignty are ongoing.

© National Post 2005

For more background information on the native Inuit inukshuk, see the Inuit Inukshuk article. To see some nice Eskimo Inuit art work of inukshuk represented, see Inuit Inukshuk Sculptures.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

More New Arrivals of Eskimo Art Work at Inuit Gallery

There have been more new arrivals of Inuit Eskimo art work this week including a much needed new seal carving since all seals were previously sold out here at Free Spirit Gallery. This new seal Inuit carving shown below along with a really nice Eskimo sculpture of two Arctic Char fishes are among some of the new acquisitions made by our Inuit gallery. We have even added a new page on our website that has direct links to all new pieces of aboriginal art from Canada at New Arrivals of Inuit Artwork and Pacific Northwest Indian Art Work.

seal inuit carving

Monday, October 31, 2005

Inuit Inukshuk Carving with Bear Head - Rare Eskimo Sculpture

I came across a very unique and rare Inuit inukshuk carving - Eskimo sculpture. This particular inukshuk actually has a polar bear head carved on top of the entire piece. I have never seen such an Inuit carving before. It was carved by Mark Tertiluk of Kangiqsujuaq in Nunavik. I have acquired and sold Inuit inukshuk carvings made by Mark before as he is one of the premier inukshuk carvers in the Arctic. But this is the first one I've seen with an animal head. The polar bear is a nice touch to the overall Arctic spirit of the piece. This inukshuk carving is over 8 inches tall so it is a very nice sized piece of Inuit art sculpture.

To see more images of this piece, go to Inuit Inukshuk with Bear. Other Inuit artwork including other inukshuk and polar bear pieces are at Inuit Carvings.

inuit inukshuk carving eskimo bear sculpture

Northwest Coastal Native American Tunic Returned

The Kaagwaantaan Northwest Coastal Native American Clan and Sealaska Heritage Institute in Alaska celebrated the return and repatriation of a Chilkat Brown Bear tunic which belonged to Kudeinahaa, a clan leader from Klukwan. Ernestine Hayes, a Kaagwaantaan, said in the Northwest Coastal Native American Tlingit world view, everything has a spirit. She said the ancestors' spirits survive through the stories, songs and objects that are passed on from generation to generation. "The tunic's importance probably lies most profoundly in allowing our loved one to come home," Hayes said. "The legality of course is well appreciated, but I just feel it is here and it hears more of the Tlingit (Northwest Coastal Native American language) being spoken, and it feels fresher and more at rest and more at home." Edwina White, another Kaagwaantaan, agrees. "It's like bringing back your grandparents to be with you. It's a strong feeling among our people. The regalia is not just for show off -- it's who we are." The ceremonial property was returned by the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology in Berkeley, California. The museum acquired the Northwest Coastal Native American tunic in 1977 from the daughter of Louis Levey, a fur trader who bought it from an unknown seller in 1936.

To see where the Tlingit and other groups reside on a map of the region, see Northwest Coastal Native American Region. To learn more about the region's artwork, see Elements of Northwest Coastal Native American Art.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Another White Bison Born - a Significant Native American Indian Event

On September 21, 2005, a white bison calf was born on an Athabascan buffalo reserve owned by Stephan Denis in Valley-of-Lakes, Quebec, Canada. The newborn baby is a female and was named Prophecy. According to Denis, this is the 7th white buffalo calf born in recent years starting from 1995 with the birth of a white bison female in Wisconsin named Miracle who was the first white female to be born in generations. At once, a traditional Lakota medicine man, Floyd Hand, said: "For us the Indians, it is like the Return of Christ for the white." This is such a significant Native American Indian event that there has been artwork depicting white bisons. One such Canadian aboriginal art piece was put on a Canadian coin - see Coins with Canadian Aboriginal Art.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

New Inuit Art Bear Sculpture eCard Available

Here's the third of the new Inuit art eCards that were added to the Free Spirit Gallery eCards page. It is of a nice little handstanding diving bear Inuit sculpture and like the other eCards here, it is available for your use free of charge 24/7. They are great to send greetings and special messages to your friends online, especially those who have never seen Inuit art sculptures before. There are now 19 different eCards available at the site. It is a nice variety of different Inuit art as well as Northwest Native American art pieces. So be my guest and feel free to use them anytime.

inuit art sculpture

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Carvings of Inuit Art Dancing Bears

Inuit art has been introduced to the market decades ago and we have observed some artistic changes along the way from the Inuit artists in response to market demand and feedback. For example, Inuit carvings have become larger and more polished compared to early primitive looking artwork. I think the Inuit carvers have been able to make changes without necessarily taking away from the northern Arctic spirit in their artwork. One of the innovations has been the dancing bear carvings. Dancing bears are in upright positions balancing on one hind leg. A new article on dancing bears from the Inuit art world has just been posted at the Free Spirit Gallery site and it goes into more detail of this type of Inuit art carving. See Dancing Bears of Inuit Art.

dancing bear inuit art carving

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Inuit Art Muskox Carving as New eCard Available

Here's the second of the trio of new additions to the Inuit art eCards that are available at the Free Spirit Gallery website. This eCard features a cute muskox Inuit carving with a closeup shot of its face. Like all the other Inuit art eCards on the site, this image of the muskox carving is available as an electronic postcard which one can send special messages and greetings to others online. Best of all is that these wonderful and unique eCards of Inuit art are available for your use for free. If you haven't tried one of these eCards, go ahead and try one now. There's also images of Northwest Native art on the same eCards page.

inuit art muskox carving

Monday, October 24, 2005

New Inuit Art Studio in Puvirnituq

Finally, a new studio for Inuit art was opened in Puvirnituq, Nunavik (Arctic Quebec). Puvirnituq was actually one of the locations of Inuit art print making before it closed down due to financial troubles. A new one has just been set up for not only art prints but also for Inuit carving. See the story at Inuit Art Studio.

One of the last remaining Inuit art prints from Puvirnituq created during the era before the original studio closed down is currently in stock and available for sale at Free Spirit Gallery. This print is shown below. See more images of this beautiful and rare Inuit Art Print.

inuit art print

Saturday, October 22, 2005

New Inuit Art Inukshuk Scupture Carving eCard Added

Free Spirit Gallery has added three more new images as Inuit art eCards on its website. Visitors can send special messsages to their friends online for free using these unique eCards of both Inuit art and Northwest Native American art. Each of the new eCards will be featured in this Inuit Art and Native Art Bulletin over the next few days beginning with the new image of an Inuit inukshuk shown here. To access the full line of eCards, see Inuit Art eCards.

inuit art inukshuk carving sculpture

Friday, October 21, 2005

Canadian and Native American Indian Tribe Faces Catastrophe

A catastrophe is facing the Gwitchin Native American and Canadian Indian tribe located in Alaska and the Canadian territory of Yukon. The Porcupine caribou herd, which has been their main food source since the last Ice Age, is dwindling and nobody knows exactly why. The U.S. government wants to drill for oil in the caribous' calving grounds in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The Inupiats or Eskimos of Alaska generally support drilling in ANWR for the jobs and revenues it will bring to the north. But further south in the Canadian Yukon, the Gwitchin Indian tribe views the new oil rigs negatively. For the 7,000 Gwitchin or "Caribou People" whose population is divided between Canada in the Yukon territory and Alaska, the stakes are quite high. The Gwitchin tribe fears that oil rigs in the refuge will bring the slow death of the caribou and the tribe's 13,000 year old subsistence culture, the last of its kind in North America. Sometime later this month, U.S. Congress is set to decide whether to allow oil exploration to proceed in ANWR, the country's premier wildlife refuge. There are calls to help protect the Arctic Refuge.

To see artwork from the Arctic as well as the Northwest, see Free Spirit Gallery.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Inuit Sculptures Eskimo Carvings of New Dancing Bears

I'm very excited to announce the arrival of a new set of Inuit sculptures or Eskimo carvings of dancing bears. These dancing bears are from Cape Dorset in Nunavut and they are just beautiful. No wonder why Inuit sculptures of dancing bears are so popular. Two of these Inuit sculptures are shown below. There are many more images of the entire new set of dancing bears. See them at the Polar Bears Inuit Sculptures section of the Free Spirit Gallery website.

dancing bear inuit sculpture eskimo carving dancing bear inuit sculpture eskimo carving

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

New Inuit Inukshuk Carvings Sculptures

Due to the interest of the Inuit inukshuk, a separate page in the Free Spirit Gallery website has been created for new arrivals. All new inukshuk artwork will be on this new page - see Inuit Inukshuk Carvings Sculptures. For background information on the purpose and significance of these structures, see the Inuit Inukshuk.

inukshuk carving sculpture

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

New Muskox Inuit Sculptures or Eskimo Carvings of Musk Ox

Since muskox Inuit sculptures or Eskimo carvings of musk ox are so popular, we have decided to create a separate section in our website gallery to showcase our new arrivals. If you go to the new Musk Ox Inuit Sculptures section, you will see a few of the newest muskox carvings we have in stock. One is shown below. All of these musk ox sculptures feature horns that were made by caribou by the Inuit carvers. Of course, to see our entire stock of Inuit sculptures, see our main gallery page of Inuit Carvings.

muskox inuit sculpture

Monday, October 17, 2005

Pacific Northwest Coastal Indian Art Masks Sold Out

Our stock of Pacific Northwest Coastal Indian art masks have been sold out with the Wild Woman mask shown below going to a very lucky new owner in Seattle, Washington. This particular Pacific Northwest Coastal Indian art mask was carved by Cody Mathias, a master artist from the Squamish Nation in BC Canada. More images of this mask is still up at the Free Spirit Gallery Northwest Coastal Indian Art Masks section. We will try to get more masks in the near future.

pacific northwest coastal indian art mask

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Interior Decorating and Home Decor With Inuit Art

Just posted an article that discusses Inuit art from the Arctic north in today's styles of interior decorating. Inuit art can help make a room classier with a touch of a gallery or museum feel. See the article at Interior Decorating and Home Decor with Inuit Art. To see actual pieces of artwork, see Free Spirit Gallery Inuit Art.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Inuit Want Inclusion In Settlements Over Residential Schools Abuse

Inuit leaders in Canada want to pursue massive lawsuits against the Canadian federal government to ensure that their people are included in settlements over the residential schools abuse issue. Over the years, Inuit and Canadian aboriginal children were placed in boarding schools for a proper education by the government. However, there were numerous cases of abuse which is only now getting aired. "Our hope is that government will make an overture to ensure our place at the table that is Inuit-specific," said Rosemarie Kuptana of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation. In May, the Assembly of First Nations signed an agreement with Ottawa (Canada's capital) to deal with the damage caused by residential schools. The federal government appointed former Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci to recommend a compensation package by the end of March 2006. One complicating matter for the Inuit, is that they are not members of the Assembly of First Nations and were not originally party to the agreement. Surely the Canadian government must recognize the history of abuse in all aboriginal groups in Canada and make efforts to compensate all those affected. This will help restore the dignity of the indigenous people of Canada.

To see some of the proud artwork of both Inuit and aboriginal artists, see Inuit and Canadian Aboriginal art.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Inuit Inukshuk Sculptures Sold Out Too

My last Inuit inukshuk sculpture was also sold yesterday. I will try to get some more of different sizes and price ranges in the next week or two. In the meantime, there's an article on the background of the Inuit inukshuk at the Free Spirit Gallery website. As soon as more Inuit inukshuk sculptures come in, I will announce their arrival in this Inuit & Native Art Bulletin.

inukshuk sculpture inukshuk sculpture

Musk Ox Eskimo Soapstone Carvings Sold Out

I sold the last musk ox Eskimo soapstone carvings yesterday just in case if anybody was looking for them. They were wonderful and unique representations of musk ox by Billy Tukai of Inukjuak. I will try to get some more in the next week and when they do come in, I will put them in the Other Inuit Eskimo Soapstone Carvings section of the gallery. I will of course also announce the arrivals of the new Eskimo soapstone carvings in this blog bulletin.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Interior Decorating and Home Decor With Native American Indian Art

I have just added a new article called Interior Decorating and Home Decor with Native American Indian Art. It introduces the potential of Native American art, particularly Pacific Northwest Native American art in today's styles of interior decorating. Since there is a current trend for home decor to be more earthly and natural, Native American Indian art would fit in rather nicely. For current artwork at our gallery, see Pacific Northwest Native American art.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Native American Navajo Code Talkers Museum Planned

The movie about the World War II Navajo code talkers which starred Nicolas Cage a few years ago brought this important piece of history in the public eye. Now there are plans for a museum honoring the Navajo code talkers in New Mexico, USA. The New Mexico Legislature approved a $90,000 matching-fund grant if the city of Gallup and the Southwest Indian Foundation each contributes $90,000. Many of the surviving Native American Navajo code talkers today are in or past their late 70s and Kent Hodges from the Gallup Cultural Center wants them to witness the preservation of their legacy. "It's very important for them to see that something is being done now," he said. The Code Talker museum would be created on the Cultural Center's upper floor or in a large open space downstairs. The museum will also be interactive, "where people are not just walking around looking at artifacts, something they can sink their teeth into" said Hodges. This will be especially important for the younger visitors since "any time you can engage a child in a sensory way, the longer it's going to live with them." Navajo youth especially, he said, "need to be aware of that story and be proud of that heritage." During World War II, the US government recruited Navajos to speak their language and create a code the Japanese could not break. The Native American Navajo code talkers were instrumental... in a lot of our success, in the South Pacific, and some people will even say they were essential," Hodges said. He said the foundation is also working with the Smithsonian which is interested in future support and funding.

For more on culture, see Native American Information Articles and for beautiful artwork, see Free Spirit Gallery Native American Art.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Will Get More Inuit Soapstone Carvings of Dancing Bears

Since I am already sold out of my stock of Inuit soapstone carvings of dancing bears, I will go get some more in anticipation of the upcoming Christmas shopping rush. Inuit soapstone carvings of polar bears, particularly dancing bears, have always been in demand and is probably one of the best selling types of Eskimo sculptures. When I get some more dancing bear soapstone carvings in, I will announce their arrival in this blog. In the meantime, I still have some very nice Inuit soapstone carvings of polar bears in walking positions including a nice size one in a standing position. See Free Spirit Gallery Polar Bear Carvings for more details.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Native American Languages Site

There's a non-profit group dedicated to the preservation and promotion of indigenous Native American languages. They have a very educational website at and they have an art section as well.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Posts Returned to Pacific Northwestern Native American Group

Four years ago, the Burke Museum in Seattle, Washington returned two grizzly bear house posts to the Tlingit Pacific Northwestern Native American group in Alaska. These posts were stolen back in 1899 by the Harriman Expedition, sponsored by railroad tycoon E.H. Harriman and ended up at the Burke Museum. Other Pacific Northwestern Native American precious artwork including grave markers and totem poles, wound up at institutions such as Chicago's Field Museum, Harvard University's Peabody Museum, the Smithsonian and Cornell University. They have all since been returned to the Tinglit. To thank the Burke Museum, Pacific Northwestern Native American Tlingit carvers Nathan and Stephen Jackson carved two new posts for the Burke. The two new posts are 11 feet tall, nearly 3 feet wide and weigh hundreds of pounds.

To see some beautiful artwork from the Northwestern region, see Pacific Northwestern Native American Art.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Free Spirit Gallery Launches New Division

Free Spirit Gallery is pleased to announce that it has launched a new division called Free Spirit Activewear which will specialize in premium quality activewear with specialty sports themes including scuba diving, martial arts and skiing/snowboarding. To maintain the high quality of art expected from Free Spirit Gallery, the Free Spirit Activewear brand will involve graphic design art developed inhouse and will be original works. Free Spirit Activewear will initially focus on clothing for specialty sports but there are plans to bring Inuit and Northwest Native American art onto clothing as well in the future. Like the Free Spirit Gallery website, Free Spirit Activewear will also feature information articles and eCards.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Pacific Northwestern Native American Indian Group Hopes for Return to Whaling

The Makah, a Pacific Northwestern Native American Indian tribe who today face serious poverty and unemployment, are guaranteed the right to hunt whales in an 1855 treaty with the U.S. Whaling and fishing have been their mainstay for thousands of years and the tribe of 1,500 still see themselves as whalers. The Makah spiritually identify with whales. Early in the 20th century, the group stopped hunting whales when commercial harvesting had depleted the gray whales. International whaling restrictions helped the species rebound, and the whales were removed from the endangered species list in 1994. Several years later, the Makah won permission to hunt them again and their first historic hunt came in 1999 as they killed one whale. "My mother said she never thought she'd see a whale hunt in her lifetime," said Arnie Hunter "And I never thought I'd see a whale hunt in my lifetime. Everybody was joyously crying; we never thought it would happen."

But animal rights protests and the television cameras "took a lot of the spirituality out of it," said Dave Sones, vice chairman of the tribal council. By 2002, an appeals court declared the hunting illegal, saying that studies had not addressed the impact of Makah hunting on the survival of the whale species. Last February, the tribe asked the agency for a waiver granting them permanent rights to kill up to 20 gray whales in any five-year period which is a right guaranteed under their 1855 treaty. Some groups which oppose the commercial harvesting of whales remain neutral on the Makah's quest. "No indigenous hunt has ever destroyed whale populations," said John Hocevar of Greenpeace. "And looking at the enormous other threats to whales and putting the Makah whaling in context, it's pretty different."

All the Native American Indian groups of the Pacific Northwestern region have connections with whales and it shows in their artwork. For some examples, see Pacific Northwestern Indian artwork of whales.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Canadian Arctic Map

There is an Arctic map of the Canadian north at the Free Spirit Gallery website. It shows many of the Inuit communities in both Nunavut, some parts of Northwest Territories and Nunavik (Arctic Quebec). There are actually two versions of this Arctic map, one showing where it is with respect to the rest of Canada and a larger blow up version of just the Canadian Arctic region. See Arctic map for more details

Last Inuit Art Dancing Polar Bear Carving Sold

The last dancing polar bear carving in stock at Free Spirit Gallery Inuit Art was just sold last week. An insurance company in Toronto bought the piece by Johnnylee Nooveya of Iqaluit, Nunavut. This piece is very similar to the piece shown below but without the additional fish in the bear's mouth. It's funny but the person from the company's HR department commented that after receiving the piece safely, she will have a hard time giving it away to the person it is intended for as it is a corporate gift. What a lucky recipient this person will be to have a genuine Johnnylee Nooveya dancing polar bear. Johnnylee is considered to be one of the best up and coming Inuit art carvers up north, especially when it comes to polar bears. I will have to bring in some more dancing polar bears soon as they tend to be very popular among higher end collectors of Inuit art. Meanwhile, there are still some very nice walking bears and a standing bear in the polar bears section of the gallery.

inuit art dancing polar bear carving

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Special Commissioned Pacific Northwestern Native American Artwork

I just finished doing a very interesting project with a client who wanted special commissioned Pacific Northwestern Native American artwork done of four animals, each representing a member of his family. The idea was to use these drawings as images for tattoos that each family member will get. We commissioned artist Lance Joseph to do these drawings and the resulting artwork is shown at Special Commissioned Pacific Northwestern Native American Artwork.

To see other artwork currently available, see Free Spirit Gallery Pacific Northwestern Native American Art.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Second Native American/Canadian Art Giveaway Contest

Another free Native American art giveaway contest has been announced by Native Canadian artist Eric up at Fort Frances, Ontario Canada. This time, the prizes include a deer antler sculpture and a painting. See Native American - Canadian Art Contest for more details. For other information on savings of up to 20% to 50% off retail prices on native artwork from the Pacific coast, see Free Spirit Gallery Northwest Indian Art.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Adjust Text Size For Inuit Art Native American Art Website

The Free Spirit Gallery website was developed using Dreamweaver layers. Some older browsers may not display some of the Inuit art and Native American art pages correctly. It is suggested to switch to a newer browser version to properly view this website. Also, switching to a smaller text size by View > Text Size in Microsoft Explorer or View > Text Zoom in Netscape may also improve the way pages are displayed on this Inuit art and Native American art gallery website.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Old Native American Indian Tepee Displayed

A 150 year old tepee made of bison hide was recently displayed at the Nez Perce Historical Park in Idaho, United States. This tepee, one of just a few surviving tepees of its kind, is made from 16 to 20 bison hides and represents a way of life that disappeared with the buffalo in the 1880s. "This tepee belonged to my great-grandmother, the wife of Chief Lawyer," said Mylie Lawyer. "My father lived in it when he was little. At night, they would roll up the edges, look at the stars and hear the stories of their people." Park rangers from the National Park Service worked the soft hide onto 15 red fir poles. The bottom of the tepee was frayed and it sustained significant water damage, requiring about two feet to be cut from the bottom. "It was a lot bigger and in better shape before," said tribal elder Horace Axtell, who displayed it for the National Congress of American Indians during the 1950s ­the last time the tepee was shown publicly. The tepee stayed up for less than an hour while people carefully climbed inside and had their pictures taken standing beside it. Of the six or seven bison-hide tepees left in the United States, half belong to the Native American Indian Nez Perce Tribe.

For articles on native artwork, see Native American Indian Art Articles and to see authentic native art pieces, see Free Spirit Gallery Northwest Native Indian Art.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Florida To Buy Land In Order To Protect Native American Indian Burial Site

The state of Florida will pay $4,700,000 US to protect Letchworth Mound, the tallest Native American Indian burial site in a mound in the state. The 46 feet tall mound is 1,000 years old. Florida will buy 109.6 acres and will pay a landowner not to develop another 1,281.6 acres surrounding the state park where Letchworth Mound is located. For other Native American info, see Native American Articles.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Free Spirit Gallery Launches Customer Referral Program

Free Spirit Gallery, an online gallery specializing in Inuit art and Northwestern Native Indian art, has launched a Customer Referral Program. Whenever past customers of Free Spirit Gallery refers a new customer who makes a purchase at the online gallery, the past customer will receive a 10% discount on a future purchase. This saving can be significant if a next purchase is for a piece that is priced at several hundred dollars. All the referring customer has to do is make sure that the new customer mentions the referral at the time of first purchase and the 10% discount for the referring customer will be recorded in our customer files. This is our way of showing some appreciation for our customers who have purchased either Inuit art or Northwestern Native Indian art at Free Spirit Gallery either directly or via other routes such as eBay.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Reminder That Inuit & Native Art Bulletin Has RSS

Just a reminder that the Inuit & Native Art Bulletin blog has both RSS and Atom feeds available for those who are now using this type of technology. If anybody is not familiar with RSS, check out You can use your favorite news aggregator to read the feeds or like me, I use Bloglines. which is an online reader. With RSS, you can easily scan the titles and sometimes the first part of any recent postings I make to the Inuit & Native Art Bulletin. When I get interesting news from either Inuit or Native American art producing communities, I will tend to post them on this blog. Also, new arrivals and changes at Free Spirit Gallery will also be announced on this blog, sometimes with photos of either Inuit art or Northwest Indian art.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Inuit Herbal Tea From The Arctic

I was at Oka, Quebec yesterday and popped into the store of the local abbey. To my surprise, they were carrying Inuit herbal tea from the Arctic. They had several kinds to choose from and all were packed from Nunavik in Arctic Quebec. I found the actual Inuit tea website of the organization that markets this interesting product.

For Inuit artwork, see Free Spirit Gallery Iuit Artwork.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Another Nice White Buffalo Story

There had been previous posts about the significance of white buffalos or bisons to the Native Americans. September 19, 2005, will mark the first anniversary of the death of Miracle, a white buffalo that was born and lived in Wisconsin. On September 18, 2005, Dave and Valerie Heider invite all to Janesville, Wisconsin, to honor Miracle and her legacy. The Heider farm will be open all day for those who wish to pay their respects to Miracle. To read more about the life of Miracle as well as some really nice photos of her, see the website for Miracle, the white buffalo. White bisons have also been put on Native Canadian art which made it onto Canadian coins.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Alaskan Art Not Well Distributed

I was speaking to someone the other day about Eskimo and Inuit art from both Alaska and Canada. It's interesting when we compared the distribution systems for each country. It appears that Canada is ahead with its cooperative system well established in the Canadian Arctic. Even though the Inuit art producing communities are quite remote and isolated, the coops enable many Inuit artists to sell their artwork and eventually get them distributed down to wholesalers and galleries in the major centres in southern Canada. Alaska doesn't seem to have as much of a comparable system in place as in Canada, particularly in the more remote areas of Alaska. This is a problem for the local artists in Alaska and with most of their work with the local ivory and whalebone supply, it makes it even more complicated since there are restrictions in import and export of artwork containing such materials - see Import/Export Inuit Art Containing Ivory Article. Fortunately for Canadian Inuit artists, there is a decent coop system in place and they tend to work more in stone than with ivory knowing that there could be problems shipping ivory containing artwork out of Canada. For nice examples of stone artwork, see Free Spirit Gallery Inuit Art.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Northwest Indian Art Commissioned For Tattoos

I just started to arrange an interesting special commission for a new client who wants sketches of Northwest Indian art for tattoos. This client wants drawings of a red-tailed hawk, a flicker (kind of bird) and two snakes all in the Northwest Indian art style. I am currently arranging to get this original artwork done by artist Lance Joseph of the Squamish Nation in BC Canada. The client will take these sketches and use them as guides for tattoos he will get for each member of his family. We are all eager to see the resulting artwork from Lance.

To see some artwork currently in stock, see Free Spirit Gallery Northwest Indian Art.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Siberian Artists Learn From Canadian Inuit Artists

A group of 10 Siberian indigenous artists came to Canada this past April to attend various workshops to learn aspects of Inuit art and the Canadian system of marketing. This workshop was put on by the Inuit Art Foundation in Ottawa. The Siberians visited galleries, wholesalers and retailers in Toronto and Ottawa as well for their learning tour.

Free Spirit Gallery Inuit Art is a supporter of the Inuit Art Foundation as it has been a regular advertiser in its magazine, Inuit Art Quarterly.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Inuit Art in Interior Decorating and Home Decor

Similar to the article with Native American art, I have written one on interior decorating and home decor using Inuit art. It is also posted on the Goarticles site. It discusses how Inuit art can fit into today's more natural styles of interior decorating. Since most people in North America and the world have probably never seen Inuit art, imagine what conversation pieces a few nicely placed Inuit carvings will make in a living room. To see some examples of authentic Inuit carvings, go to Free Spirit Gallery Inuit Art.

Monday, August 22, 2005

New Article on Interior Decorating With Native American Art

I have written a new article on interior decorating with Native American art and it is featured at the GoArticles site. At this site, one can either do an article search under 'interior decorating' or 'native american art' to access this article. Alternatively, the following link will also get you to this Native American art article. This article introduces folks new to Native American art to the interior decorating and home decor possibilities with this style of aboriginal art. To see actual authentic artwork, see Free Spirit Gallery Native American art.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Free Spirit Activewear Soon To Be Launched

Free Spirit Gallery, an online gallery specializing in Inuit art and Northwest Indian art is planning to launch a new business division to market premium, high quality activewear with specialty arts as well as sports themes. Adding Inuit art and Northwest Indian art themes to clothing will be a natural expansion for Free Spirit Gallery. It will be another way for fans of aboriginal art to both acquire and display artwork. It will also be a new method to help both Inuit art and Northwest Indian art gain further exposure. This new division and the brand name for the clothing line will be called Free Spirit Activewear. Free Spirit Activewear will also be involved in such specialty sports themes as scuba diving, martial arts and snow sports because Clint Leung, the founder and owner of Free Spirit Gallery, is an avid scuba diver, martial artist and skier. A separate website will be launched to support the brand which will start off with t-shirts. Other items such as sweat tops, polo/golf shirts and casual dress shirts will also be added to the line.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

New Dramatic Inuit Art Sculpture of Hunter With Seal - Under $100 US

I have added a very dramatic Inuit art sculpture of a hunter with a seal by Sakaraiase Napatuk of Akulivik, Nunavik. He is known for such dramatic carvings. This particular piece is also in the under $100 US price range which makes this Inuit sculpture extra special. There are other Inuit art sculptures added to the Free Spirit Gallery Under $100 section.

inuit art sculpture hunter

Monday, August 15, 2005

Layaway Plans Will Be Considered For Inuit Art Purchases

I recently had a potential customer contact me inquiring whether it was possible to purchase an Inuit art dancing polar bear carving with a layaway plan. This is the first time we have been approached with this idea as so far Free Spirit Gallery doesn't have any official layaway plans offered. This particular Inuit art piece the customer was looking at was the dancing polar bear carving by Johnnylee Nooveya of Iqaluit, Nunavut who happens to be the carver of the dancing bear shown on the Free Spirit Gallery home page. We will consider layaway options for our customers although we haven't decided to create a standard plan. Instead, we will consider each case individually and try to work out a feasible layaway plan that will be agreeable to both our customer and Free Spirit Gallery. So if there's a higher priced Inuit art piece in our gallery of carvings that you would love to bring home but would rather purchase through a layaway plan, feel free to contact us.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Native American Tribal Games Displayed

The Explore the Big Sky event held at Great Falls, Montana this summer included a pow wow, concert and also a display of traditional Native American tribal games. These games included team events such as traditional lacrosse, shinney, doubleball, and canoe racing. Individual events like bow shooting, atlatl and hoop and arrow, as well as a variety of horse events were also showcased by Native American athletes. These tribal games taught Native American people the skills they needed to survive and thrive in the sometimes unforgiving landscape of America. Quick thinking, strength, memory, stamina, teamwork, intuition, horsemanship and other essential qualities are all required to excel at these traditional games which are making a comeback thanks to the efforts of tribal educators, enthusiastic kids, an old Department of the Interior study and the memories of some grateful Native American tribal elders. For other interesting articles on culture, see Native American Art Information Resource Articles.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

New Inuit Eskimo Art Carvings Priced Under $100 US

I have added two new Inuit Eskimo art carvings which are priced under $100 US on the Free Spirit Gallery Other Inuit Carvings section. They are a hunter with a husky dog (ihu-31) and an Inuit fisherman (ihu-34). These are both from Inuit carvers up at Akulivik in Nunavik (Quebec Arctic Canada). Carvers from this region tend to do happy scenes with nice detail. Some images are below;

inuit eskimo carving inuit eskimo carving

Monday, August 08, 2005

Judges Rule That "Kemosabe" Is Not Insulting For Native Canadian Woman

Canada's Supreme Court has ruled against a Native Canadian Mi'kmaq woman who sued her employer in the province of Nova Scotia for calling her Kemosabe. The woman said the term was racist and demeaning but nobody knows for sure exactly what "Kemosabe" means. Some believe it's a corruption of the Spanish phrase "Qui no sabe" which translates roughly as "He who knows nothing." However, Native American and Native Canadian language experts agree that Kemosabe is a respectful term as similar phrases in the Cree, Ojibway, Paiute and Navajo languages all translate to the idea of a "trusty scout." Jim Jewel, who directed the original Lone Ranger radio serial, borrowed the name" Kee-Mo-Sah-Bee" from a 1930s boy's camp near Mackinac, Michigan. In the classic radio series, Tonto and the Lone Ranger called each other "Kemosabe." With all this evidence, as well as after hours of viewing and analyzing old Lone Ranger television shows, the judges at the Canadian Supreme Court arrived at the conclusion that the term "Kemosabe" is not an insult.

For other information on Native Canadian culture, see Native Canadian Art Articles.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Inuit Art Community Rankin Inlet In Nunavut Has Dog Problems

One of the Inuit art communities in Nunavut of Arctic Canada is having a problem with stray dogs. Here's a press release:

RANKIN INLET, Nunavut (CP) - Officials in this Arctic community are threatening to shoot stray dogs after a young child was bitten by an animal that had rabies.

Nancy Campbell, a spokeswoman for the territorial Health Department, said the dog was destroyed on July 30, shortly after the child was bitten. Campbell said the child was transported to a hospital in the South, but was doing fine.

"The subsequent testing of the dog's body found that the dog did indeed have rabies," Campbell said, adding that authorities in Rankin Inlet are now taking a tough stand on the problem of roaming dogs.

"They've told people that if dogs are found loose, they will be shot."

Campbell's department issued an advisory Friday to northern communities requesting that people tie up their dogs and get them vaccinated.

She admitted, however, that it is difficult to get dogs vaccinated against rabies in the North due to a shortage of qualified vets.

Rabies, she said, is more common in foxes in the North but dogs can contract the disease if they are bitten by foxes.

Dogs with rabies may display a noticeable change in behaviour, signs of being very thirsty, no interest in eating or drinking, and may be foaming at the mouth.

The Canadian Press, 2005

To see artwork from Nunavut in Arctic Canada, see Free Spirit Gallery Inuit Art.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Pacific Northwest Native American Tribe Honored

Amy Johnson's great-great-grandfather, David Denny, reached Puget Sound in Washington state in 1851 after a half-year journey from Illinois. Denny's group, which later founded Seattle, might have perished without help from the local Pacific Northwest Native American tribe Duwamish who offered clam broth to revive a sick baby, shelter and protection from hostile tribes. Now Johnson wants to thank and honor this tribe that enabled her and other settler descendants to exist. She has organized Coming Full Circle, an opportunity for Johnson/Denny descendants to thank the Duwamish by helping raise $1,500,000 for the Pacific Northwest Native American tribe's future longhouse and cultural center. "If it hadn't been for the Duwamish when the first pioneers came, they either wouldn't have survived or they wouldn't have stayed," Johnson said. "If it hadn't been for the Duwamish, I might not be here today."

For a look into the magnificent carvings from the local region, see Pacific Northwest Native American Art Carvings.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Another Custom Designed Northwest Native Indian Art Carving

Last month, we were pleased to get an order for another custom designed Northwest Native Indian art carving. A client from Seattle saw one of Peter Charlie's carvings on the Free Spirit Gallery website and asked if it was possible to get a larger version measuring 3 feet in length. It was a carving of a school of salmons. We commissioned master carver Peter Charlie to do the piece since he already did the original carving. The custom carving just arrived yesterday and will be sent to our client right away. This beautiful 36 x 6 inch carving is shown at the bottom of our Custom Designed Northwest Native Indian Art page. To see others, see Northwest Native Indian art carvings. As a reminder, it is always possible for us to explore the feasibility of getting a custom designed piece for our customers.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Evidence Suggests that Ancient Polynesians Visited Native American Tribes

Linguist Kathryn A. Klar and archaeologist Terry L. Jones believe than ancient Polynesians sailed to Southern California 1,000 years before Columbus landed in America. Their report will be published in American Antiquity this summer. New research suggests that the Native American tribe Chumash word for sewn-plank canoe is derived from a Polynesian word for the wood used to construct the same boat. The Chumash and their neighboring Native American tribe, the Gabrielino, were the only tribes who built sewn-plank boats, a technique used on the Polynesian Islands. The Chumash word for sewn-plank canoe is tomolo'o, while the Hawaiian word for useful tree (the type used for building the boat) is kumulaa'au. The Polynesians colonized Hawaii before the year 1,000 AD, and their language evolved into the Hawaiian language. Many Hawaiian words that start with "k" originally began with "t." Replace the "k" in kumulaa'au with a "t" and the similarity is so great that it is highly unlikely to be a coincidence according to Klar.

Revised carbon-dating of an ancient Chumash headdress has been dated to 400 years earlier than originally thought. The headdress is fashioned from abalone shells and the skull of a swordfish which is a deep sea fish. Earlier carbon-dating placed it at 2,000 years old. That date implied the Chumash were fishing in deep-sea waters 400 years earlier than the Polynesian-Chumash contact that Klar and Jones believed. As it turns out, the original carbon-14 date was wrong, and new testing places the headdress at 600 AD, in the same time period Klar and Jones believe ancient Polynesians sailed to Southern California.

Another piece of evidence was found more than a decade ago when archaeological evidence proved that ancient Polynesians ate sweet potatoes, which are native to South America. Presumably, Polynesian sailors ventured to South America, obtained sweet potatoes and brought them back to their home islands.

For other interesting information on Native American culture, see Native American Art Information Articles.