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.